Deep in the heart of New York’s Hudson Valley is a small medical school doing big things.
In July 2014, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Middletown campus welcomed its very first class of 135 students after a $25 million renovation of an old community hospital. State-of-the-art-technology like robotic simulators and a digital anatomy lab allow students to get an inside look at the human body with 3-D holographic imaging.
“Textbooks are two-dimensional, so it's very difficult for students to visualize the structural relationships of a lot of things,” Leah Lebranche, an anatomy instructor at Touro told FoxNews.com. “So the digital lab allows for an idealized sense of the anatomy and they can delve deeper and deeper by dissecting and peeling back layers.
Using 3-D glasses and a stylus to manipulate the holograms, zSpace technology allows students to not only dissect different body systems, but also to piece them back together – something that’s not possible when learning on cadavers alone.
“Being able to kind of peel back the superficial muscles and looking into the deep muscles and understanding the origins is a very good kind of tool before actual dissection and cadavers in the lab,” Sean Orton, a medical student at Touro, said. “Seeing where those muscles are and then taking that to a real body and then observing it in a live person.”
Minje Woo, another first-year medical student, told FoxNews.com that learning outside the textbook in 3-D has helped him get a better grasp on anatomy.
“By using this new technology, we get to see, in a new way, the wonders of the human body,” he said. “You get a holographic image. It's stuff that we could only dream of seeing on television. It's amazing!”
The medical school will welcome its second class of students this July, but investing in new technology is already paying dividends.
“The students who use this modality as a supplement to standard dissection are doing better on exams and practicals than students have previously done without it in the Touro system,” Dr. Kenneth J. Steier, dean of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Middletown Campus, said. “So we've definitely seen demonstrable improvement.”
For more information, visit Touro.edu.