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Virtual dissection table helps teach human anatomy


In the ongoing search for how best to explore and learn about the anatomy of the human body, Silicon Valley engineers have entered into the mix a new life-sized, iPad-like virtual dissection table.

On loan from Anatomage, a San Jose, Calif.-based medical technology firm, the table made its debut at Stanford in an anatomy lab where faculty members are experimenting with its use as an educational tool. I wrote about its unveiling in the first lab in today’s Inside Stanford Medicine; as I reported, it immediately caught the imagination of the students, who couldn’t resist touching it:

With a swipe of the forefinger, they zoomed in on the image. Then zoomed out. One touch, and the virtual shoulder rotated. Another touch, and the muscles disappeared leaving just the bones. One more touch and the bones dissolved, leaving the circulatory system behind.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Meghan Bowler, 21, a junior bioengineering student from Boston.

Photo by Norbert von der Groeben

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