Digital eye on the dissection table

to HFU News
Prof. Dr. Hanna Niemann demonstrates the dissection table to students

Prof. Dr. Hanna Niemann demonstrates the dissection table

New opportunity to learn anatomy in three dimensions at Furtwangen University

“Anatomy is only really fun when we can recognise and understand human anatomy in three dimensions,” says Prof. Dr. Hanna Niemann from Furtwangen University (HFU). She is demonstrating the brand new digital dissection table that she uses for her “Visual anatomy” course. “In my course, students practice creative presentations, among other things, and the new digital dissection table offers them completely new opportunities to do this,” explains Prof. Niemann. The table surface is a touchscreen on which life-size bodies or individual organs can be displayed. Today, the 15 or so students are working on the human eye.

The table displays a 3D model, a digitised version of a real body donation. The students can examine the organ layer by layer and the various components of the eye are labeled with digital markers. The new dissection table can also be used to make digital incisions or highlight specific areas. “Each week, a student presents a different anatomical area and is encouraged to be as creative as possible with the form of presentation. It could even be an escape room through the heart,” says Prof. Niemann. The table has been in use by the Faculty of Medical and Life Sciences at HFU for several weeks now and students and lecturers alike are extremely enthusiastic about the new possibilities. As Dean Magnus Schmidt proudly states, “The equipment at our university is exceptional. Not only do we provide training in cutting-edge subjects, we also use state-of-the-art equipment.” The dissection table, worth over €100,000, completes the impressive inventory of laboratory equipment at the Schwenningen site, such as a fully equipped operating theater and special cardiology equipment. Because HFU attaches particular importance to practical relevance, students start training on it right away in the first semester. “Even if I do find it a bit scary, it's incredibly cool,” commented one student after the seminar.