Olney Central College is introducing new cutting-edge technology to its anatomy lab with the addition of an Anatomage Table.
The life-sized, 3D interactive device, enables students to perform virtual dissection. With the swipe of a finger, students can peel back layers of the digitally created body, exposing muscles, organs and bones. Students can even watch the heart beating as blood flows through the circulatory system.
“The table includes two touch screen monitors and works like a giant tablet,” said Life Science Assistant Professor Chris Mathews. “It has four digital cadavers loaded in the self-contained computer system that can be pulled up. Students can dissect the cadavers and then put them back together just by accessing the screen.”
Using the control panel, students can turn, adjust and magnify the body to delve further into the structures and systems they want to inspect and dissect. Once selected, each item can be verbally identified by the software. The table even converts from a horizontal to a vertical position to provide alternating views.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Mathews said. “I think the biggest draw is the burst in engagement we’ll see as students work and interact with it. I haven’t shown it to anyone who hasn’t been impressed.”
The software includes case studies that can be loaded allowing students to observe the effects of various diseases and injuries on the body. There is even the capability to perform medical simulations including EKGs, heart catheterizations and colonoscopies.
Matthews is looking forward to utilizing the device in the classroom.
“Not only can we use the Anatomage Table for dissection, but during lectures I can refer to it instead of the charts we have been using for years,” Mathews said. “I will have the ability to show 3D images of whatever structures we are discussing. With the charts, it’s hard to tell where something like the sciatic nerve is located. With the table, you can peel back the skin and muscles and see exactly where the structure is located, in relation to the body. You can even rotate it for better views.”