04 June 2020

The perfect gift of education in the time of COVID-19

After meeting the team from An@tomedia in Melbourne, philanthropist, Tom Pearce grew interested in the technology they were developing and aim to provide a quality interactive anatomy program for students, teachers and practitioners that can be accessed from anywhere.

An@tomedia would eventually become a new approach to medical education, offering 360 hours of online learning through nine modules, incorporating the latest radiology methods and research, including detailed images of the human anatomy compiled from real serial dissection, 3D computer models, and medical images.

Now thanks to Tom Pearce’s ongoing commitment to education and love of the new technology, he has donated an An@tomedia perpetual licence to the University – more than $50,000 – and as a result, UniSA has now obtained ongoing use for the anatomy program that will serve as a valuable learning tool for staff, alumni and students throughout their allied health careers.

When the An@tomedia tool became available to the UniSA Community in March, the resource could not have come at a better time as the world became engulfed in the COVID-19 crisis and students, staff and many graduates out in the professional world, were relegated to their homes.

An@tomedia quickly became the perfect resource for those affected by quarantine regulations in place and became a great asset to have now that students were limited to online study, missing the face-to-face anatomy classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tom Pearce with Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd
Tom Pearce with UniSA Vice Chancellor and President, Professor David Lloyd at the 2018 Alumni Awards being inducted into the University’s prestigious Hetzel Group.

Created by Principal Authors Professor Norman Eizenberg, Professor Ivica Grkovic, Dr Priscilla Barker and Dr Christopher Briggs, the program is the culmination of 100,000 hours of continuous work by the team for 25 years. After seeing what the technology could do first-hand, Tom knew it was something he wanted to bring to the University of South Australia community.

“I met members of the team who developed An@omedia in Melbourne some years ago, and have watched the slow and detailed work as the dissection, photographing, sectioning, and digitising has progressed,” Tom says.

I have marvelled at the patience and persistence needed to bring together so much anatomical information in such an accessible form.”

“It seemed to me that making An@omedia available to UniSA would spread the benefit of my support to more students, graduates and staff in the Health Faculties than anything else I might do.”

UniSA Student Ambassador and second year Bachelor of Occupational Therapy student, Caitlyn Stone, was one of these students affected by the shutdowns and has found the An@tomedia resource a lifesaver at home while still trying to complete her university study.

Anatomy Images – An@tomedia 2020, An@tomedia, image, anatomedia.com, viewed 7 May 2020
Anatomy Images – An@tomedia 2020, An@tomedia, image, anatomedia.com, viewed 7 May 2020.

“Studying from home is a very different routine to what many of us are used to. We can often feel unmotivated to study when we don’t have classes to attend or feel a bit down about being in self-isolation,” she says.

“One of the resources I have used to combat this is the An@tomedia program. This resource is great for home learning because you still get to see with your own eyes the different features you would in class, just from a virtual perspective.”

“You can test your knowledge with quizzes, which can be helpful for preparing for upcoming assignments, tests and exams. Studying in a different and creative way can help you motivate and develop good study habits in isolation; allowing study to be fun and enjoyable.”

“An@tomedia even provides detailed images of different body systems and information about them, medical images and images of a real dissection, and you can rotate and play around with the school-system and find about the different bones landmarks, different muscle groups.”

How to use an@tomedia An@tomedia 2020, An@tomedia.

The program caters for all levels of anatomy learners, from beginners through to postgraduate study and students can test their anatomy knowledge through embedded quiz capabilities. The program’s interesting visuals are also a valuable resource for students and staff across health programs, visual/figurative art courses, and other research areas that may have a link to health as well.

However, resources and equipment of this nature are usually eye-wateringly expensive and can often only be acquired through the generosity of those willing to donate to a greater cause.

As one of the university’s most charitable families, Tom Pearce and family have donated upwards of $800,000 to the University and have been supporting the power of education for decades.

An@tomedia is just one of the positive contributions and initiatives Tom Pearce has supported at the University of South Australia. Thousands of our students, staff and alumni have benefitted from his generosity, and the impact of such support has only become more important in these uncertain times for our communities.

If you, or someone you know, would like to access the online learning tool, An@tomedia is now available to all UniSA staff and students through the UniSA Library. Alumni can access the online learning tool on site at the UniSA Library.

Start your unstoppable health career here and give your career an edge, by learning from a university with more than 50 years’ experience in health education and research.


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