Anatomage, a California based 3D medical technology company, created The Anatomage Table in conjunction with the Stanford University’s Division of Clinical Anatomy. It is the first life-size 3D interactive virtual dissection table and it looks really cool.
The table allows you to interact with anatomy by using a virtual knife to cut away layers of the body at any angle, rotate the body in any direction, and also isolate structures. Labels follow as you turn the body around with your finger and different medical imaging view modes allow you to see the body as an xray with the anatomy overlaid on top.
Anatomy on this scale is really exciting. Historically, anatomists and artists created full sized illustrations that were kept in monumental anatomical atlases. Today we’re used to seeing small illustrations in textbooks and while anatomy apps on tablets now allow us to interact with anatomy, it’s still on a small scale.
There’s no replacement for physically dissecting a human body and relating to it on a spatial and tactile dimension. But technology like this can extend beyond the domain of the medical student and be used by artists to further understand the human body. Artists that may not have access to the coveted stepping stone of dissection can use this to see the body in angles not visualized in anatomy atlases. Once artists start visualizing the human body outside of the bounds of what the medical textbooks provie, then the public will hopefully gain a different and deeper perspective on the human body.
View the TED Talk by Anatomage CEO, Jack Choi to learn more about this impressive technology.