Not Just for Techies: How WebGL Will Revolutionize Medicine


Already dominating the worlds of web design and online gaming, Web Graphics Library (WebGL) is a new interface that renders 3D interactive content directly in the browser without the use of unsupported plugins.

In other words, it makes it possible to explore realistic content online without leaving the page

While the benefits of WebGL (and interactive 3D) may be overlooked by those outside of the tech world, its applications, especially within science and medicine, are endless.

Here’s how WebGL will revolutionize the way we teach and consume health information:

  1. No roadblocks between consumers and medical content
    • Since plugins aren’t needed, viewers will never be forced to “Update Adobe Flash Player to Continue”
  2. Updates are easy and universal
    • Because the interactive content is embedded directly into a health website’s code, there’s no need to track down old versions of MOA or instructional videos
    • Updates are as easy and universal as making edits to a webpage
  3. Faster load time
    • No plugins also means that there’s one less step between a website’s code for graphics and the graphics appearing
    • While it took a few years for all mainstream browsers to accommodate the new technology, the current consensus is that WebGL is faster than using plugins (WebGL is currently supported on Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari. To see if your browser supports WebGL, click here)
  4. Accessible anytime, anywhere
  5. Fast to deploy
    • With health content existing solely in the cloud, medical device & pharma companies, healthcare institutions, teaching hospitals, and general practitioners only have to build their materials once for it to be accessible across all platforms
  6. Realistic graphics
    • By harnessing the power of your device’s graphics processing unit (GPU), WebGL utilizes the most sophisticated 3D visuals, bringing disease models, anatomical features, medical devices, and molecular pathways to life

  7. Engagement, Engagement, Engagement
    • From industry stakeholders to doctors to patients, WebGL’s ability to captivate an audience is unmatched
    • Instead of sitting idly while watching an MOA video or trying to understand a static anatomical illustration, the WebGL user interacts directly with medical content. They can explore areas that they may need explained, while skipping over pieces that they know
    • More engagement = better understanding = informed decision-making


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