Innovations in Anatomy

The Division of Clinical Anatomy at Stanford University has long held a tradition of innovation to assist in the teaching of medical students. In the 1950’s, Professor David Bassett, working in collaboration with William Gruber, inventor of the View-Master, created a highly revered stereoscopic photographic atlas of human dissection, still in use to this day. In the 1980’s, Dr. Robert Chase, then head of the Division of Anatomy, continued to pursue this interest with research in the use of 3D models for visualizing the human body. 

Over the last few years, we have developed a sophisticated platform for viewing human anatomy models in 3D. This platform is now being heavily used in classes offered by the Division, both for the study of anatomy, and for research in a variety of disciplines, such as Virtual Reality, immersion techniques for surgical training, virtual representation of biomechanical motion, and the superimposition of anatomical models on the real world – a technique known as Augmented Reality.

The Table allows students and faculty to access anatomical information in a way that has previously been inaccessible. With a fully interactive, multitouch screen, one can dissect the body, moving through layers of tissue, or use a virtual knife to cut away and see the structures inside. We can look at the body with different types of visualizations, such as opaque hard-tissue, or as an X-Ray. The Anatomage Table is a breakthrough in visualization and interactivity and enhances students' understanding of anatomy, both in general and in clinical concepts, and allows students to explore the body like never before.    

Upcoming Events

  • September 23-24, 2014: Medicine X Conference

In the news...

We were thrilled to be interviewed by a global news firm this summer for our Cantor Arts Center exhibit.

Our feature on a segment of NPR's "All Things Considered" available here.

Our new iBook on Thumb Arthritis is out!