Touching the Inside

Guest Post by Thomas Rydell, Studio Director, Interactive Institute, Sweden, who is a partner of Science Centre Singapore’s ‘Uniquely You’ Exhibition where the Virtual Autopsy Table is featured.

The Virtual Autopsy Table from Visualiseringscenter C on Vimeo.

Touch and multi-touch technology have changed the way we use computers in our daily lives. Game-changing products such as the iPhone and iPad have made it easier and more intuitive for people to interact with media and complex information. With natural gestures you can now easily perform complex operations on your device.

In the project-Virtual Autopsy Table, launched in 2009, the Interactive Institute together with its partners at Norrköping Visualization Center C and Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization, combined multi-touch technology with state-of-the-art volume data rendering, in order to create a new medical visualization tool that allows users to explore the inside of a human body.

With its intuitive gesture-based interface, the Virtual Autopsy Table has totally changed the way users interact with complex medical data. Multiple users can interact collaboratively and simultaneously, working with realistic MRI and CT scans to gain deeper understanding and insight into the functions and processes inside the body.

The Virtual Autopsy Table, our first prototype in 2009, has since evolved into a professional, medical visualisation tool that is commercially available through the Swedish medical IT company, Sectra. The Sectra solution is today used in hospitals and universities, helping multi-disciplinary teams with everything from planning trauma cases to performing virtual autopsies.

Using medical imaging to perform virtual autopsies, is becoming an increasingly common approach worldwide. A virtual autopsy reduces for example, the need for invasive surgical procedures within forensics and pathology.�
It also allows user to see things that are difficult to see in a conventional autopsy such as pockets of gas after a knife stab or sub-millimetre metal fragments from a bullet. Another important benefit with virtual autopsies is that it does not alter evidence, enabling investigators to revisit the body in the future if further clues are needed.

In our work of making this powerful technology available to the society, we have created a new version of the table that is designed for the thousands of museums, science and technology centres worldwide that are looking for ways of communicating science in an new, interactive, inspiring and exciting way. Our goal is to make available to public, the same technology used in modern hospitals.

Science Centre Singapore is the first venue outside Sweden to use our technology in its newly opened exhibition, ‘Uniquely You’. This exhibition draws on the theme of advances in medical science to talk about the human body and how we are learning more through our use of technology.

We hope that as a visitor of Science Centre Singapore, you will get a fantastic, hands-on experience, exploring the inside of the human body and will learn more about medical imaging and virtual autopsies.

Interactive Institute is a Swedish experimental IT & design research institute that conducts world-class applied research and innovation.

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