Montpellier Medical University
The incredible virtual cadaver that could teach the next generation of doctors during worldwide shortage of dead bodies
- Researchers at Montpellier Medical University are using 3D scanners to create virtual cadavers for students
- Guillaume Captier created two: one dissection on a neck and one on a pelvis, due to shortage of dead bodies
- Virtual dissection can be used with a web interface or with a professional touch screen for surgical simulation
A worldwide shortage of dead bodies for medical use has pressured scientists to come up with new ways to train future doctors.
Researchers from Montpellier Medical University in France are using 3D scanners to create ‘virtual cadavers’.
A worldwide increase in medical programs has led to an increase in demand of cadavers, as simultaneously there are fewer unclaimed dead bodies around the world.
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Researchers hope that a virtual cadaver could teach students the basics of dissection.
‘In many faculties, in France and abroad, not all medical students have access to the opportunity to practice dissection for learning anatomy,’ Guillaume Captier, a surgeon and professor at Montepellier, said to AkademiPortal.Com
‘This is even more true in countries where dissection is prohibited or not practiced,’ he continued.
Captier’s team created two separate virtual dissections: one on a neck area and one on a pelvis.
He performed the dissections on a real cadaver, layer by layer. At each level, technician Benjamin Moreno scanned the flesh and body parts onto the computer using an Artec 3D scanner, stacking them so the whole body is visible.
Virtual dissection can be used with a web interface or with a professional touch screen for surgical simulation.
Since 2010, the High Authority of Health (HAS) in France recommended that teaching of surgery and technical gestures should not be done for the first time on a patient.
‘This implies the need for simulation teaching, realistic enough to reproduce the surgical anatomy of operations and to evaluate technical learning,’ Captier said.
‘The goal is to create a 3D database of the main anatomical regions of interest and develop a method of virtual dissection in-silico to simulate realistic and customizable traditional anatomical dissection remains the standard for learning anatomy,’ he continued.
‘Virtual dissection can be used in learning anatomy for students and trainees in surgery before going to the operating room.’
Cadavers have been in short supply worldwide in recent years. The number of medical students is increasing, as is the number of programs that need cadavers.
Fully-fledged doctors also need cadavers in order to continue their medical training. Researchers and pharmaceutical companies use the bodies to continue developing new procedures and treatments.
Some bodies that have the potential to be cadavers instead go to organ donation, others go to police to train dogs and a few even go to automobile companies to test cars in safety tests.
Improved means of communication have limited the supply of as well. Often, unclaimed bodies go to medical research. In some parts of the world, it is forbidden to donate bodies to be used as cadavers. All of the news