An 'Indiana' for doctors

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By JOHN MARY in Thiruvananthapuram
  • Published 8.06.08

Thiruvananthapuram, June 8: Medical students who have to dissect cadavers in anatomy classes can take hope: 3D Indiana, an interactive digital anatomy model of the human body, could soon help them out.

A doctor at an Alappuzha clinic, Jerome Kalister, has developed a three-dimensional model with the help of a 15-member team and is now programming it on Windows to make it user-friendly.

“We get to see a cadaver in the first year of MBBS. Second and third year, there’s only a fleeting glance because the specimen would have been dismembered in the first year itself. So medicos spend hours with diagrams and pictures instead of a cadaver,” Kalister, who assists his wife Geetha at St Mary’s Clinic, said.

“3D Indiana will, therefore, be an anatomy aid to medicos. But it is never a substitute for a cadaver.”

Indiana, an acronym for interactive digital anatomy, will help the user navigate the inside of the virtual human body and study internal organs, their location, interconnection, size and texture.

Headed by Kalister, a team of medical experts, software engineers and structural engineers has been working on the project for years, using 10 computer systems. Kalister has spent over Rs 60 lakh, sculpting and developing the model.

“It has been endorsed by the Anatomical Society of India. 3D Indiana is an exact replica of the human with every organ, bone, muscle, nerve and blood vessel,” Kalister said.

The team is in talks with National Rural Health Mission director Dinesh Arora, who has asked for the initial model. It could be introduced for trial in a medical college before the Medical Council of India approves it for use in colleges throughout the country.

Once the Windows version is ready, the team could load it into piracy-proof laptops.

Kalister said the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, too, had been trying to get a similar model costing Rs 7.5 lakh, but had not made much headway yet.