Researchers at Sweden’s Norrköping Visualization Center (link in Swedish) have developed a “virtual autopsy” experience using a multitouch surface computer and various patient images. Using CT and MR imagery data procured posthumously, the program recreates the body in three-dimensional space with multiple layers than can be applied or removed with the swipe of a hand.
The utility of this non-invasive approach is, according to the team, multifactorial. First, the perceivable educational benefits for teaching anatomy are obvious (although, can you really replace the cadaveric experience?). Additionally, the system could be used by forensic pathologists. They highlight that the whole process can be completed in minutes as opposed to the hour for a traditional autopsy and also that 3-D imagery would be more understandable and less “gruesome” for juries to see.
Watch the video below for more information and to watch how slick it is in action.
As of now, there is only one working prototype, but the group is planning on starting production in the near future.
It seems very intuitive and cool for sure; but as far as practicality is concerned, we all know there’s no substitute for the real thing… Now, if only they could combine this with smell-o-vision for the real experience!