The Oculus Rift virtual colonoscopy wins the Materialise Innovation Global Award

The Oculus Rift virtual colonoscopy wins the Materialise Innovation Global Award

On Tuesday 4 July 2017, David Randall and John Fenner from The University of Sheffield, and Peter Metherall from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were awarded the Materialise Mimics Innovation Awards’ Global Award for the development of a virtual colonoscopy that can be viewed using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

Professor Wendy Tindale, Scientific Director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals commented “This is a fantastic example of the collaborative research being undertaken by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, both of which are affiliated with the Insigneo Institute for in silico medicine.”

Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer related deaths, with an estimated 16,000 deaths per year in the UK. Optical colonoscopy is the preferred method of colonic examination and is considered the “gold standard” but it has limitations in that it has many contraindications and the process is invasive. Virtual colonoscopy therefore offers an attractive alternative because of its minimally-invasive nature and nominal bowel preparation. The addition of the Oculus Rift technology creates a much improved and immersive user interface.

This mechanism for viewing virtual colonoscopies with an Oculus Rift has been successfully implemented and trialled on three clinicians. Initial testing has produced promising reactions from clinical colleagues and confirms the potential of this novel visualisation method. It has been acknowledged that several improvements are necessary before this technique is likely to be of significant clinical benefit but early potential has been demonstrated. Overall, the feedback is one of support, providing encouragement for pursuing this work further.

The Materialise Mimics Innovation Awards reward cutting-edge research conducted with the help of the Materialise Mimics Innovation Suite (MIS) software which turns scans into accurate virtual 3D models. Materialise has a mission to enable and support medical professionals to revolutionize patient treatment, and improve and save lives; these awards reward users for sharing Materilise’s vision and supporting them with their innovative efforts.

Article: The Oculus Rift virtual colonoscopy: introducing a new technology and initial impressions (Journal of Biomedical Graphics and Computing) David Randall, Peter Metherall, Karna Dev Bardhan, Paul Spencer, Richard Gillott, Rebecca de Noronha, John W Fenner


Materialise Mimics Innovation Awards 2018:

All research undertaken using Materialise MIS can be entered in the Materialise Mimics Innovation Awards register at to be informed when papers can be submitted for the 2018 awards.