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New Heartland Career Center equipment advances opportunities for health ed students

January 3rd, 2019

By Joseph Slacian | The Paper of Wabash County

Health education students at the Heartland Career Center will get a close look at the workings of the human body, thanks to a new piece of equipment recently purchased by the school.

The Anatomage Table was delivered to the school about a month ago and on Wednesday, Dec. 12, students and staff alike were trained on how to operate the machine.

The table is about 7 feet long and three feet wide, and has a video screen on the top.

On the screen, the students can see 3-D images of the human body and, with the push of a few icons, the inner workings of the body as well.

The table can lie flat, or it can stand upright so an instructor can use it in a lecture setting.

Ariana Krage, an application anatomist for the California-based Anatomage company, was on hand at the school to instruct students and staff.

“Basically, we have taken data from the Visible Human Project, which has taken bodies of individuals who have donated their bodies to science, submerged them, frozen them and then cut them in slices,” she said. “We took that regularly available data, we segmented it, and then our software completes a 3-D rendering of that sliced data.”

The cadavers on the screen are actual bodies; however, their facial features have been changed via computers.

“This is a great way to learn anatomy,” Krage said. “It gives (students) the ability to turn on certain body systems, turn off certain body systems, see how one body system relates to another. They can actually make dissections right on there and see, maybe how an incision would be made during certain procedures. Or, if you cut through a structure, what does that structure look like internally. How does it relate to other structures that it’s connected with?”

The table also allows students to see how blood flows through the body and where it flows through certain vessels. It also has an internal camera view of how the blood flows through the heart.

The table contains images of four bodies – a male and female Caucasian and a male and female of Asian descent. The images are in very high resolution and have great detail to them.

“By just tapping on a structure it will tell them what it is,” Krage said. “They can really quickly touch things and figure out how they work, where they’re located. And, of course, we’ve retained all their natural anomalies. Other than the skin and facial features, everything is theirs.”

By doing so, students can see tumors or other health-related issues the individuals had.

“The Asians both had cancer,” Krage said. “The male Asian had leukemia, but he died from complications of pneumonia. The female had gastric cancer, but she also died of pneumonia.”

Instructor Divana Bowyer said the table will be a great teaching tool for the class.

“Most of us are visual learners,” she said. “We found out most of the kids want to go into healthcare in some form or fashion, a lot want to go into nursing. So, to actually visualize the systems, to start putting pieces of the puzzles together, just talking about it in the classroom and trying to show pictures, just doesn’t do it justice when you can do it in 3-D.”

The table was first developed about 2010 Krage said. Depending on the features it has, it can run between $80,000 and $90,000.

Heartland Director Mark Hobbs wrote and obtained a grant to help purchase the equipment.

Hobbs said the school received the funds through the Perkins Grant, which was created through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

The school received $75,000, he said, which covered the cost of the table. By negotiating with the company, he said, the cost of the table was reduced.

The table Heartland officials purchased is the sixth version of the device. A seventh version will be released in July. Pike High School in Indianapolis has an older version of the machine, and Parkview Healthcare in conjunction with Ivy Tech Community College also has an Anatomage Table. More than 1,000 such tables are in use around the world, Krage said.