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19 Apr 2016

Medical students in rural and regional South Australia and the Northern Territory will soon be able to participate in autopsies without a cadaver, with Flinders University claiming an Australian-first with its purchase of four Anatomage virtual dissection tables.

The Anatomage table, described as the most technologically advanced system for anatomy education in the world, has been likened to a human-sized iPad.

Resembling an operating table with a patient, the Anatomage uses high resolution touch screen technology to replicate the human body, with 3D body contents and a library with more than 120 pathological examples.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said the tables would allow staff and students in Darwin, Mt Gambier and Renmark to link in to expertise in Adelaide in real time, with all participants seeing the identical procedure.

“It’s a game changer for medical training outside of capital cities,” Professor Stirling said.

“It’s the kind of experience and opportunity that pathologists have dreamed of for centuries – the ability to peel back the layers of the human body one by one until you have examined every part, and then put each layer back until it is perfectly in one piece again.”

The device will cut down on the need for students at the Rural Clinical School in Renmark to make the seven-hour round trip to Adelaide.

It will also open up opportunities for Indigenous students by overcoming concerns about anonymity and respect for the dead.

More information on the Anatomage table can be found at

Maria Hawthorne

Published: 19 Apr 2016