The Smart Medical Practice

Expert Interview with Andrew Piper on Using 3D Anatomy Software


3D anatomy softwareTechnology is evolving rapidly and allowing medical professionals to give patients a better grasp on their health.

Andrew Piper, lead programmer and project manager for 3D anatomy software makerAnomalous Medical, says there’s plenty to be excited about. The shift to electronic medical records, increased use of CAD and CAM software in the medical field and the fact that CT and MRI are providing more detail can all have a positive impact on patients.

“Implemented correctly, these systems should make it much easier to build a complete picture of a person’s health,” he says.

Andrew says he believes software like his can be used with all of these new and/or improved systems to paint a more complete picture of a person’s long-term health. He recently checked in to share more about Anomalous Medical and discuss how it can be used by everyone from medical professionals to students.

Tell us about Anomalous Medical … what services do you offer

Anomalous Medical is software that lets you explore, create and share 3D anatomy. You can explore by moving the camera around our model to any angle you choose, and you can show and hide any combination of anatomy you choose. You can move our fully simulated mandible and teeth either through predefined animations or manually set it into the position you want. Creation comes into play two ways. You can distort our anatomy to help illustrate defects that you see in your patients and then run the simulation again to show how these problems cause deviations from normal behavior. Additionally, you can build presentations with our Smart Lecture Tools featuring slides and animations of your own design. Finally, you can share by using the software live with patients or colleagues or by packaging up your Smart Lectures and selling them on our online store. We also offer custom 3D modeling services and image licensing options.

What sets Anomalous Medical apart from other 3D modeling and publishing companies in the medical field?

Anomalous Medical features a fully simulated mandible, teeth and TMJ that can be distorted and moved in real time. We can also introduce other devices into this simulation such as splints or mouth guards and show the impact of these devices on the bite. In addition to this, we allow the user to build their own content using our tools. There is no other software on the market that makes it as easy as we do to build and distribute your own custom content using 3D anatomy.

How can 3D anatomy graphics be used?

Our 3D graphics are excellent for education. X-ray, CT and MRI are great for providing a visual, but lack color and animation. With our software, you can re-create what you see on these scans and bring it to life for your patients and colleagues with motion and vibrant color. In addition to this, we offer inexpensive licensing of our graphics so they may be used outside of our software in PowerPoint presentations, online courses or on websites. You can use our software to line up the perfect shot and then render a high-resolution image to export.

How are 3D anatomy graphics and simulations useful for medical professionals, students and patients? How do they improve communication about and understanding of health issues?

Our graphics and simulations help bring human anatomy to life. One of the most impactful ways we do this is after you have created a distortion in our anatomy, we make it easy to change back to a normal state so you can compare the differences. This can even be done while simulating something like a chewing sequence, so the difference between normal and a distorted state on the dynamics of the mouth can be seen immediately. For people just learning about anatomy, you can easily isolate one structure and look at it in great detail or bring in surrounding anatomy to see how everything fits together.

How technical does someone need to be to build a presentation using software like yours?

We designed our Smart Lecture Tools to work like other popular presentation software such as PowerPoint or Keynote. Our software allows you to create slides just as these programs do with your own text and images. The big addition we have is that our 3D anatomy will be there alongside the text you create. You can still explore the anatomy while running your presentation if you are answering questions or want to emphasize a point. You can also optionally build animations that move the camera, adjust visible anatomy layers, simulate movement or even change distortion as part of the presentation. Sharing this content with others through our website is also very easy. Clicking one button and answering a couple of questions will upload the Smart Lecture to our website, where you can easily distribute it to others or sell it in our store.

What sorts of imagery are medical professionals requesting or using the most?

Early on, we focused on dentistry, so we built the head and neck first. However, we do get a lot of requests for anatomy throughout the rest of the body, and we are working to address this.

How do you see the use of software like yours evolving in the coming years?

In the future, we would like to cover more anatomy with the same kinds of simulation and distortion we have for the head and neck. In addition to this, it would be cool to integrate more closely with EHR systems. Our software could provide an interactive 3D representation of a patient complete with customized anatomy that matches them along with notes from the specialist that worked on that section of their body. Other specialists or patients could educate themselves on what was done in one area to help them while they are working on another. The human body is, after all, one large system, and changes in one place could have an impact somewhere else. In addition, any devices that have been added to a person’s body could also be modeled and shown with everything else.

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