Learning of Anatomy with a Virtual Dissection Table: our Immediate Impression of the Anatomage Table
Anatomy is an essential subject in medical and health science programmes. However, it is perhaps the most challenging to students compared to other basic medical science subjects. Although learning anatomy with dissection of cadavers has been the default choice, a range of interactive multimedia devices and virtual visualization software has been available since 2002, for instance, “The Living Human Project”. Emerging technologies have made studying anatomy via three-dimensional visual models increasingly prevalent. The virtual anatomy dissection tables are recent entries and have added to the options available for medical and health science programmes when considering learning tools for their students. A human-size 3D interactive table, the Anatomage table 7 (AT-7), is perhaps the most advanced digital visualization system for anatomy education currently available. AT-7 is a virtual library of human and animal cadavers, which provides a clinical diagnostic tool by visualization of computerized tomography, cone-beam computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scan. This present article describes our experience as faculties with the Anatomage table in the process of teaching anatomy. Students and faculty members exposed to AT-7 for six months completed a survey on the effectiveness of the AT-7 in learning anatomy. Response was collated and analysed, results showed that though AT-7 enhanced learning and knowledge of anatomy, it would not be able to stand alone in our local setting, though promising in upcoming medical educational training, is essentially an atlas of anatomy, compared with cadaver.
Key Words: Cadaver, dissection alternative, virtual dissection, simulation, learning