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Touch of Life Releases Interactive Human Anatomy Training Atlas

Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2013


DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - Aug 29, 2012) - Touch of Life Technologies has released a powerful upgrade to its VH Dissector™ interactive anatomy atlas, creating the first-ever medical education software where users can view detailed anatomy as three-dimensional renderings and in all three, principal axis, cross-sectional views. The platform contains more than 2,000 anatomical structures with curriculum options for medical, dental, physician assistant, physical therapy, nursing and general undergraduate anatomy students. It also serves as a comprehensive clinical reference for practicing professionals.

Both the original VH Dissector™ and the new VH Dissector™ 5 are based on data from the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Project®. With the VH Dissector, users can virtually dissect anatomical structures and substructures with each click of a mouse. The original VH Dissector enabled users to view the whole human body or magnified regions as 3D renderings and also investigate transverse (horizontal) cross-sections at millimeter intervals throughout the body.

The VH Dissector 5 dramatically extends the user's ability to investigate internal human anatomy and relationships by stepping through cross-sections along all three principal axes (transverse, coronal and sagittal) in millimeter intervals. Coronal cross-sections (vertical cross-sections from shoulder to shoulder), like the transverse, provide a quick appreciation for the right/left symmetrical structures of the body. Conversely, sagittal cross-sections (vertical cross-sections from nose to spine) provide a special view for our asymmetric or unpaired body parts.

By simply centering an anatomical structure or point of interest in the crosshairs, that structure is immediately brought to center in all three cross-sectional views (transverse, coronal and sagittal) and precisely located in the three dimensional view. As a bonus with the integrated nature of the data, the cross-sections can also be viewed in the 3D renderings to produce the effect of 3D structures protruding from the 2D cross-sections.

"Students will be able to appreciate three dimensional relationships and understand cross-sections more efficiently by controlling the cutting planes as they observe the transitions between 2D and 3D images," said Vic Spitzer, Ph.D., CEO of Touch of Life Technologies and an anatomy professor who was a principal investigator on the Visible Human Project. "The integration of the images and the planes deepens their understanding of anatomy and how structures relate to each other."

The powerful VH Dissector platform enables students and clinicians to rapidly and interactively investigate the entire human body through virtual dissection (or assembly) of body regions or systems while viewing the process as it appears in the cadaver lab or in surgery (3D) and as it appears in clinical imaging (2D) -- all from the desktop and all under their control.

"I have used the VH Dissector in teaching gross anatomy for several years," said Larry Rizzolo, professor at Yale University Medical School. "As an instructor, I like the built in flexibility to recommend premade lessons or design my own lesson plans to guide students. The interactive nature of the software and correlated cross-sectional views enable students to ask and resolve their own questions, as they come up. Consequently, they more quickly grasp anatomical relationships in the human body, which in turn helps to retain the information. The addition of the coronal and sagittal views greatly enhances the VH Dissector as a learning and reference tool in medical school, clinical rotations and beyond."

The software is available for purchase by faculty, students, libraries and professionals online at and through direct sales.

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