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      HealthWACH: Virtual patient show and tell

      COLUMBIA (WACH)

      The new virtual dissection table takes advantage of 20th-century technological advancements in imaging, such as X-rays, ultrasound and MRIs, and combines them for use in a 7-foot by 2.5-foot screen. The table is being tested as a way to further enhance that age-old teaching method ?? the dissection of human cadavers.

      The table is designed as a complement to other anatomical educational devices, with the added benefit of allowing users to easily explore hard-to-reach parts of the human body. Its creators refer to it as something of a reusable cadaver.

      The images morph magically from soft tissue to hard tissue. The tissue can be sliced much like actual tissue on cadavers in the dissection lab next door, but no knife is needed ?? just a single slide of a finger will do. Then, with the press of a button, the entire body is restored instantly.

      The touch screen allows users to investigate a realistic visualization of 3-D human anatomy and to delve inside the human body. CT scan images are augmented with 3-D modeling and annotation enabling physicians to give their patients visuals.