Visible Body from Argosy, is a new, gorgeously rendered, 3D interactive model of the human body.
Explore Your Body
It used to be that any capable surgeon also had to be a capable grave robber. How else were you going to get those fresh cadavers to work on? Visible Body has taken the fresh corpse on the slab and brought it into the 21st century. Argosy Publishing’s latest brain child, Visible Body is a fully interactive 3D color display of the human body available free online. Its painstakingly rendered graphics detail 1700 anatomical structures, including all of the major systems of the body. Yet it is simple enough to allow even a beginning user to explore the body easily.
“The Visible Body is the result of years of development and collaboration between our specially trained team of biomedical visualization experts and software engineers. ” – Visible Body FAQ
Visible Body is like architectural software for the human form. Anyone familiar with AutoCAD will quickly see the similarities. Users can add or remove layers, rotate and zoom in three dimensions, and change transparency to help them navigate. The ease of movement makes Visible Body feel like a practical research tool. The control panels are mostly intuitive, and the search bar is simple but effective.
Still, there’s no better proof than seeing Visible Body in action, so check out one of their tutorials below:
A Brand New You
Is Visible Body’s 3D approach innovative? Certainly a three dimensional representation of the body would seem like a logical progression from two dimensional textbooks. The fact that Argosy spent so much time and effort to make Visible Body accurate and easy to use is laudable. But the actual idea isn’t all that surprising. Zygote Media Group has similar products, but these are exclusively designed for commercial use. What makes Visible Body so revolutionary may depend less on what it is, and more on how it is being offered.
“The Visible Body is the most complete, highly detailed, and anatomically accurate human body model available. It is designed to deliver the level of detail necessary to teach a college-level Anatomy and Physiology course. ” – Visible Body FAQ
Visible body can be used by anyone at anytime, provided they have an internet connection. The most obvious use, that of teaching anatomy and physiology, is just the tip of the iceberg. Argosy has openly solicited partnerships and commercial versions for their new product. We may see major pharmacological companies use Visible Body to give detailed explanations of drug effects and concerns.
Visible Body can be adapted to display medical devices (such as joint replacements) in their proper location. Nearly every specialized field or interest in medicine will benefit from some adaptation of its use. As Visible Body becomes more well known we may find it to be one of THE universally referenced applications. It is already available for iPhones and iPods, it will be in classrooms, and in some form it will likely be used in operating rooms, doctor’s offices, and pharmacies. Whether or not Argosy adopts an open api for Visible Body, the commercial uses and partnerships will likely be lucrative enough that they will always provide some high quality version for free public use.
As I play with the nervous system, rotating the brain to make it look like a wrinkled walnut, I get the distinct impression that I am toying with a piece of software that will be the next Wikipedia, or the next Amazon. It’s not there yet, there are still several short comings that remind us that we are looking at a Beta product. There are clipping issues, one-way mirror effects, only a female version, body parts that haven’t been included yet, and the spatial relations have been tinkered with to make viewing easier. Still, give it time, and I think Visible Body will be bookmarked on everyone’s browser. Go ahead, add it to your own.