If you read Part I a couple of weeks ago, you know my eight-year-old grandson, Nick, and daughter, Hilary, took a tour of the CLS labs just before Christmas. Well, they also got a look at the Anatomage table – a life-size virtual dissection table that displays gross anatomy models reconstructed from cadavers. More cool science!
We’d finished in the labs and dropped in to the dean’s suite to say hello (and show off Nick’s sweet lab coat), when executive associate dean, Greg Karst, PT, PhD, offered a demonstration of the Anatomage. Their eyes lit up when I explained to Hilary and Nick that the table was like a huge tablet where you could see muscles, organs, bones, x-rays, and MRIs. I think I had Nick at huge tablet.
We walked downstairs to the classroom, and Dr. Karst fired up the table and brought up the first cadaver image. He demonstrated how to move the body and remove layers with simple controls and hand gestures, then he handed over the virtual scalpel to Nick.
Little boys make for radical surgeons, however, and within seconds only a right foot remained of the cadaver. Dr. Karst brought the body back with a few gestures and Nick tried again. This time, he carefully “sliced” across the torso. Dr. Karst turned it so we could view the cross-section.
“Cool!” said Nick.
To quote from a recent study by Tanya Custer and Kim Michael about the use of virtual dissection technology, “[It] seems to have a promising role in future educational training, although more research is needed to better understand the efficacy of using this technology in the classroom. …students appreciate learning with this technology and believe that it is a beneficial and effective tool in preparing them to enter a health care profession.”
It’s also clearly a good recruiting tool. Because it IS cool.
We discovered another interesting thing about the Anatomage table. In addition to being used to virtually dissect humans, it also contains animal anatomy for veterinary studies.
If you, or someone you know, would like to get a closer look at the cutting edge teaching technologies and programs we offer in the College of Allied Health Professions, check out our events page and explore the possibilities. You can also contact us by email or call 402-559-6673.