4 Anatomy Education Trends

October 31, 2022

4 Anatomy Education Trends BodyViz 3D Anatomy

Written by: Curt Carlson, CEO

Everyday BodyViz software engineers, medical visualization specialists, and content creators exceed customer expectations through new product development, exceptional customer service, and customized content creation. It is a privilege to see all that hard work payoff at customer sites. A few years ago, I attended The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio’s gross anatomy class during a digital anatomy lab section. I watched the director of the school’s human anatomy program, Omid Rahimi, PhD,  introduce 50 students to a BodyViz-based learning objective. After some instruction, the student groups worked together to examine the 3D CT scan visualization, perform virtual dissections, and work through the lesson. The class was riveted. One-hundred percent engaged. And, so was I.

Seeing our software in action that day reinforced the vision at BodyViz. We are giving instructors and students unprecedented access to real human anatomy, changing the way they interact and engage with anatomy curriculum, and, in essence, better preparing our future healthcare providers.

My day at the UT Health Science Center highlighted what I feel are the four big themes for the future of anatomy education.  

BodyViz lab at UTHSC San Antonio using BodyViz 3D Virtual Dissection

1. Virtual Anatomy Labs

We have worked with hundreds of universities and medical schools to integrate digital cadaver labs into anatomy curriculum. In schools that have access to cadavers (like UT Health Science Center) the digital anatomy labs do not replace cadaver dissection and prosection. In these cases, BodyViz provides a platform for students to prepare, practice, and reinforce their cadaver experience. Recently published studies show that students with access to authentic 3D visualizations as part of their gross anatomy lab had more interest and a more whole/complete anatomy learning experience. For programs or schools without access to cadavers, BodyViz’s interactive visualizations rendered directly from 3D CT and MRI provide a format for learning using real anatomy and performing repeatable, nondestructive virtual dissections.

Instructors using BodyViz authentic patient virtual dissection to teach undergraduate anatomy

2. Customer Driven Improvements: BodyViz 6.6 & Portal

With anatomy instructors doing more with less, it is mission critical that BodyViz empowers instructors to provide the most engaging, successful anatomy curriculum possible. Driven by customer feedback and market research, we have created the BodyViz Portal and released BodyViz 6.6. Our Online Portal at BodyViz provides an outlet for students to engage and interact with 3D anatomy resources and acts as a database for instructor resources. Students can login to the Online Portal from any location with WiFi, allowing them to complete the virtual dissection labs and interactive quizzes outside of the classroom. Instructors can easily assign and deliver assignment, as well as monitor student performance with automatic grading. Additionally, BodyViz 6.6 went live in August of 2022. Users benefit from:

  • Students can download BodyViz directly to their personal device
  • A button that links directly to the BodyViz Portal website
  • The ability to use the same BodyViz license on multiple computers
  • A guided tour about how to use the virtual dissection app
  • The additional of Brain Builder patient case videos, articles, and activities to the BodyViz Portal

Dissection of the colon with BodyViz real patient virtual dissection app

3. Custom Content and Curriculum Support

One school’s anatomy curriculum does not fit all institutions. In fact, we have very few customers who use BodyViz in the same way. A product of customer demand, we have built a content curriculum team to help instructors integrate BodyViz into current curriculum and create custom content. Offered in a wide variety of file structures, our custom content team develops:

  • Videos

  • Case Studies

  • Anatomy exercises

  • Clinical procedures

  • Software tutorials

  • Start-up guides

  • PowerPoint presentations

  • Images

  • Interactive exercises

None of this would be possible without our talented BodyViz team.

4. Mobile Access to BodyViz via iPad

The emergence of the digital anatomy lab stems from a systemic rethinking of anatomy curriculum, which prompted other changes too. Repeated cuts in instruction hours paired with increased program enrollment also sparked modifications in instructional approaches including flipped classrooms, problem based learning pedagogy, and case-based classes. To support the new teaching philosophies, students need mobile access to anatomy in the classroom and out. Schools are expanding anatomy resources using BodyViz and adding access points in the library, small collaborations spaces, computer labs, and giving student access to BodyViz on their personal devices. Central to this strategy is the use of iPads. Available through BodyViz Sync, BodyViz for iPads allows students to access specified datasets anytime, anywhere.

Students using BodyViz 3D virtual dissection app and BodyViz Portal on laptops and ipad

We look forward to raising the bar in 2023. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try BodyViz for yourself, schedule a demonstration. The team is excited to show you how BodyViz can pair with and improve your anatomy curriculum!

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