Canon’s virtual reality solution transforms ultrasound learning for students and healthcare professionals

A pioneering partnership between Canon Italy and Canon Medical Systems gives ultrasound education an immersive upgrade with the ground-breaking Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye lens and the EOS R5 C.
EOS R5 C RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE Canon Medical Systems Case Study 01

Tearing up the textbook

The knowledge of healthcare professional needs, Professor Roberto Grassi was a natural fit for guiding this project, as the clinical and teaching skills of Prof. Vito Cantisani has been an indispensable asset.

Thanks to a pioneering collaboration with Canon Italy and Canon Medical Systems, there was an opportunity to introduce an unprecedented way of learning for medical students across Italy – in the form of virtual reality.

Featured below: Simone Cavalcoli – Canon Italia S.p.A., Prof. Roberto Grassi, Prof. Vito Cantisani, Alex Dell’Era – Canon Medical Systems Italy

Canon Medical Systems Case Study 01
  • The Challenge

    How do you deliver complex medical information in a simple yet meaningful way for medical students? The shift to remote learning due to the pandemic highlighted shortcomings of existing old-fashioned teaching methods. Currently, students in Italy have to wait until their third year to gain practical hospital experience. This sparked a conversation about how Canon’s VR lens could revolutionise textbook ultrasound training and instead bring it to life virtually. The hope was that this would accelerate the learning curve, as well as drive interest among young doctors.

  • The Solution

    To achieve this, Canon Italy suggested a ground-breaking EOS VR solution, consisting of the EOS R5 C and the world-first RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye Lens. Featuring 8K video, this system created a powerful end-to-end single-camera virtual reality solution that was quick and easy to set up. In this way, the client was able to capture stereoscopic 180° content of the doctor’s perspective – seeing both the ultrasound scanner and the patient at the same time – for a fully immersive learning experience.


“A high-quality image is crucial in medicine. Every small detail counts.”

Game-changing VR in 8K

Canon’s first-of-its-kind RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye lens, proved to be a transformative success for ultrasound education in Italy. The full solution comprised of the VR lens and the Canon EOS R5 C camera, which worked together to capture immersive 8K videos of an ultrasound exam from the point of view of the doctor. With a full-frame 8K sensor and long recording times, EOS R5 C was the perfect pairing.

“A high-quality image is crucial in medicine. Every small detail counts. You need to be able to see which button the doctor is pressing on the control panel. And when it comes to diagnostic scans, every pixel counts! So the 8K is a gamechanger” says Alex Dell’Era, Clinical and Technical Marketing Manager at Canon Medical Systems Italy.

Experienced via a medium-budget standalone VR headset, the videos demonstrated the videos demonstrated the impressive diagnostic capabilities of Aplio i-Series Prism Edition. This video series was then rolled out as education modules for the radiology course, shifting focus from slideshows and textbooks into the world of virtual reality. Lectures never looked so attractive.

Alex explains: “From a webinar or textbook it’s hard to perceive everything. Here, you can actually learn. And have the feeling that you are the operator in an actual ultrasound room. It’s mind blowing, as you know it’s virtual, but it feels so real!”

EOS R5 C RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE Canon Medical Systems Case Study 02

Effortless post-production

The stereoscopic L-series lens is designed to make the step into VR as simple and seamless as possible for existing filmmakers. It’s super compact, lightweight and easy to mount and start shooting straight away in 8K. Thanks to the two circular fisheye images, which are synchronised and recorded side-by-side onto a single 8K sensor, post-production was a breeze – allowing the filmmaker to focus on what the viewer is perceiving – in this case an abdominal ultrasound examination. No more manually stitching together separate shots.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Both students and teachers have found that the VR videos significantly improved their understanding of the ultrasound process. The next step is to pair immersive with interactive. Alex concludes: “Many other fields such as computed tomography, angiography and magnetic resonance will be explored. The limit is only our imagination.”

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