3D image table helps UNR Med students with anatomy

RENO, NV (KOLO) -- You'd expect to see an anatomy lab at a medical school.
It is mandatory.

You'd also expect to find cadavers in this lab; there are those as well.

But, in an anatomy lab at UNR's medical school, first-year student Miguel Gonzalez shows us an additional tool that helps make the class a little easier,

It's called Anatomage.

”It is a beautiful way to see the perfect anatomy. I think a lot of medical schools, it would be in their best interest to look into this for that aspect of it,” says Gonzalez

The table has been here for about two years now.

The images start with a body, and then with manipulation of the screen, the skin gives way to muscle, all the way to bone.

Internal organs can be exposed, and the image can be moved so students can get a 360-degree view.

The device is used to augment the students’ education, not to replace the human body.

“Having that kind of hands-on experience with the cadaver is the way I learned anatomy,” says Dr. Gillian Moritz, UNR Med Assistant Professor in Physiology and Cell Biology. “I think it is still the area where our students do the most of their learning in anatomy. But something like this is an incredible resource and supplement to their learning,” says Dr. Moritz.

Dr. Moritz says the Anatomage is very helpful when students study the lymph or nervous system.

Often these structures are so small they are tough to see on an actual body; the machine can enlarge the image so students can understand its function and location better. But it is not the be-all-end-all.

“It is one thing to look at this and say yes, this is that. You can't replace the hands on tactile touch,” says Gonzalez.

The Anatomage can also quiz students, provide images of infants, animals, even educate on CAT Scans and other imaging so students see how they appear to diagnose tumors or malformations.

Dr. Moritz says she wouldn't be surprised as technology gets more advanced; that the system gets smaller, and more physicians use this type of imaging to explain to patients what course of medical action they plan to take.

The Anatomage is made possible through the Pennington Foundation.