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Virtual autopsies a reality

Swedish imaging major showcases unique technology that might dramatically change the face of forensics and medical studies

Image Credit: XPRESS/Zarina Fernandes
Amazing: Lars Eriksson, Sectra’s Business Manager, demonstrates the medical multi-touch visualisation table at the Arab Health Conference in Dubai

Dubai A global medical imaging IT major has introduced a new technology which, if adopted in the UAE, could dramatically change the way medical studies and autopsies are conducted.

Called the autopsy or visualisation table, the medical multi-touch display by Sectra Medical Systems of Sweden is one of several innovative technologies being showcased at the ongoing Arab Health Conference in Dubai.

Lars Eriksson, Sectra’s Business Manager, said the table offers great value in cultures where burials are customarily carried out on the same day as the person’s death. “When a post-mortem is necessary in such cases, all you will need is a CT scan of the body which will be available anytime for an autopsy.”

Unlike the conventional method, the forensic scientist can use a virtual knife on the now virtual corpse to carry out investigations and ascertain the cause of death.

Eriksson said the table is being more widely used in medical education and research as it allows students and medical professionals to interact with life-size 3D images generated by CT and MRI scanners.

“The possibility to work with a virtual body allows for deeper understanding and insight into the anatomy, as well as functions and processes inside the body. However, at some point of time, you will have to dissect a real body.”

Although virtual autopsies are currently being done only in Sweden, Eriksson said the visualisation table has been installed in 20 locations in the Scandinavian countries, Russia and the United States, where it is employed in medical education, surgery planning and clinical conferences. It is also valuable for referring physicians.

Eriksson said the highly advanced technology allows clinicians to see thousands of CT slice images within seconds.

Talks are on with forensic institutions in the region for its adoption, added Eriksson.

The cost of the machine varies with each installation. In Sweden, it costs around €120,000 (Dh592,612) to €140,000 (Dh691,257).


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This is amazing, the possibilities with this is of great vallue for thehealthcare system, medical students, physicians and nNurses. I belive it would bea great investment for the hospitals.


31 January 2013 16:30jump to comments