GRAD Companion (Guided Radiographic Anatomy Digitised Companion)

The team set out to create a full-body scrollable set of human Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) datasets, with the goal to label one region as an anatomical digital resource for 2022. The pedagogical aim for this project is to challenge students to apply what they have been learning to real world state-of-the-art cross-sectional medical images, to improve their relational anatomy utilising an authentic approach. 

Informed consent documentation was developed, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was performed on two volunteers at Barwon Medical Imaging (BMI) within Barwon Health, Geelong. Regions scanned included the head, neck, thorax, abdomen and pelvis. 

The resulting radiographic image files were compiled on a medical software platform for the interpretation of radiographs (the DICOM viewer Horos) and exported as .jpeg files. Images were subsequently labelled individually in PowerPoint by the GRAD Companion team and exported again as .jpeg files. These images were then bulk cropped and watermarked using Adobe Lightroom and inserted into Adobe After Effects to create the final GRAD Companion .mp4 video file for this project. 


The team GRAD Companion team included academic staff from the Deakin Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Medical Imaging (MI) programs who worked in partnership with Barwon Medical Imaging (BMI) and Barwon Health to complete this project. 

The team faced several challenges. Non-medical MRI scans for research purposes are not subsidised and there were no existing MRI protocols suitable for this project. This required creativity to design protocols, negotiate costing of this project and a time that did not impact the medical care of patients. There were additional challenges around image ownership, copyright, use of medical software to interpret and export the MRI images and staffing workloads through the Deakin Reimagined Project. 

This project will provide students with new labelled resource to conceptualise the three dimensions of anatomical structures which they will be able to access any digital device. With equity of access for all students, this project embodies Deakin Values and represents digital innovation for the School of Medicine at Deakin. There is a particular need for this resource following the transition to blended learning across the COVID-19 pandemic, to address the challenge students face when trying to conceptualise the location and relationships of anatomical structures in the body. This project has sparked interest from staff across the MD and MI programs at Deakin prior to its inclusion in 2022. It’s impact for students will be measured over the coming years.

The Resource

The team has completed the first prototype and is now in the process of finalising the labelling and presentation of the head, neck and thorax prior to the commencement of the 2022 teaching year. The labelled regions will be released alongside the original MRI files as part of this OER grant under a Creative Commons BY NC SA licence. The team will continue to develop these images into digital resources over the coming years.

In 2022 the completed parts of this project will be used for teaching in the pre-clinical years of the Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Medical Imaging (MI) programs. 

Have a look at the video for a view of the prototype.

Using the Resource - Please let us know!

The team would be very interested to track use, application and additional projects that emerge from the GRAD Companion video and radiographic resources. The GRAD Companion project lead is Cailin Mellberg and his contact details are listed below:

Cailin Mellberg
Teaching Scholar in Anatomy 
School of Medicine, Faculty of Health
Deakin University 
Ph: (03) 5227 8115; ext= 78115