Medical students using virtual human bodies to learn about anatomy

New York University’s School of Medicine is pioneering the use of 3-D simulation technology to teach medical students about human anatomy, the New York Times reports.
In a laboratory at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, anatomy students wear 3-D glasses to dissect virtual human bodies that are displayed on a projector screen.
Using a computer, students can examine close-up views of simulated 3-D organs and other anatomic structures that are animated to function as they would in a living body.


John Qualter — an assistant professor of educational informatics at NYU’s School of Medicine and the founder of BioDigital Systems, which created the virtual human models — said the program is “like a living digital textbook.”
Qualter said BioDigital plans to further develop the technology on its medical education website to provide a searchable, customizable map of the human body that could be used by physicians and medical websites. NYU administrators said they plan to use the virtual human bodies as a complementary teaching method that will not replace the use of real human cadavers, which provide a more tactile understanding of anatomy.

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