A Broken Foot, Halo on the Xbox, and Real 3D Anatomy at Prince William Sound College

October 4, 2021

UAA using BodyViz 3D anatomy

Walking into Dr. Kelly Mitchell’s lecture for the first time, some students wonder, “Why does he have an Xbox controller in his hand?”  Dr. Mitchell is using some of his Xbox skills from playing Halo with his son to maneuver real 3D anatomy demonstrations in his classes. 

Dr. Kelly Mitchell-  who recently completed his doctorate in nursing, teaches for Prince William Sound College at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and also is an anesthetist - had the time to talk on the phone for 10 mins to discuss his own personal and students' success with using BodyViz 3D anatomy software in his courses.

Teaching Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology, Dr. Mitchell has been using BodyViz in both his anatomy labs and lectures since 2019. Dr. Mitchell explained how he specially uses BodyViz in his lectures: 

“When I’m lecturing, we use multiple screens in the lecture hall so that I can showcase my PowerPoint, have a screen right behind me with BodyViz on it, and I use an Xbox controller to maneuver through it.  I used to play Halo with my son and who knew that those Xbox skills would come in handy.”

- Dr. Kelly Mitchell


One of his favorite features of BodyViz anatomy learning software is the ability to take students through the body layer by layer. Dr. Mitchell relates BodyViz similar to when a surgeon begins surgery. The surgeon has to go through all of the layers to get to where they are operating at and BodyViz allows students to see and experience these real anatomy layers. With BodyViz, Dr. Mitchell is able to cut, examine, color, annotate real human anatomy in front of his students and give them the ability to use virtual dissection an unlimited amount of times!  

"It's not just flashing a picture, it is taking them through an actual movement."

- Dr. Kelly Mitchell


Dr. Kelly Mitchell from Prince Williams Sound College at the University of Anchorage Alaska using BodyViz

Dr. Mitchell's favorite example to use with BodyViz is a 3D visualization of his wife's broken foot.  She broke 3 metatarsals and her calcaneus.  Because BodyViz's library is ever-growing with the ability to import any DICOM scan, Dr. Mitchell was able to convert the original CT scan into a 3D anatomy visualization. He can show his students the original X-ray, the CT scan, and a 3D anatomy scan.  This enables Dr. Mitchell to teach the bones of the foot in a clinical situation, where his students can see where the bones were broken, where the surgery occurred, and the 2 plates and 6 screws with virtual anatomy.

“They seem to be very excited about it and I think it has to do with the fact that it's more than just a page in a book."

"For most of history we just had a page in a book. Now, we have taken a page and put it into a PowerPoint, which is still 2D and in flat form up on the screen.  But with BodyViz we can take that picture and we can turn it around and do all sorts of things with it.  We can manipulate it which makes it very interesting for students.” 

- Dr. Kelly Mitchell


BodyViz 3D anatomy software allows students to study real human anatomy through every system of the body and see how certain illnesses and injuries affect a patient as a whole. It does not use cartoon or computer-generated pictures. These are images of actual people from their MRI and CT scans taken by actual doctors and surgeons.  Detailed visualizations are created in 3D showing every nook and cranny of the results of a real fracture or the tissue density of an actual tumor. With the different modes students can use in the 3D dissection software, they are able to examine, slice, color, annotate, and filter tissue types to an unlimited degree and undo any mistakes with the click of a button.  The potential of learning in a BodyViz anatomy lab is endless!  

Interested in scheduling a Demo to see how BodyViz could fit into your classes like it has for Dr. Mitchell and University of Alaska Anchorage? Schedule a Demo today!


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Click these links for more about Prince William Sound College and  the University of Alaska Anchorage and more about Dr. Kelly Mitchell