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Design of an Anatomy Information System

Brinkley, James F and Wong, B. A. and Hinshaw, Kevin P and Rosse, Cornelius (1999) Design of an Anatomy Information System. Computer Graphics and Applications 19(3):pp. 38-48. Invited paper.

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Abstract

Biology and medicine rely fundamentally on anatomy. Not only do you need anatomical knowledge to understand normal and abnormal function, anatomy also provides a framework for organizing other kinds of biomedical data. That’s why medical and other health sciences students take anatomy as one of their first courses. The Digital Anatomist Project undertaken by members of the University of Washington Structural Informatics Group aims to “put anatomy on a computer” in such a way that anatomical information becomes as fundamental to biomedical information management as the study of anatomy is to medical students. To do this we need to develop methods for representing anatomical information, accessing it, and reusing it in multiple applications ranging from education to clinical practice. This development process engenders many of the core research areas in biological structural informatics, which we have defined as a subfield of medical informatics dealing with information about the physical organization of the body. By its nature, structural information proves highly amenable to representation and visualization by computer graphics methods. In fact, computer graphics offers the first real breakthrough in anatomical knowledge representation since publication of the first scholarly anatomical treatise in 1546, in that it provides a means for capturing the 3D dynamic nature of the human body. In this article we explain the nature of anatomical information and discuss the design of a system to organize and access it. Example applications show the potential for reusing the same information in contexts ranging from education to clinical medicine, as well as the role of graphics in visualizing and interacting with anatomical representations.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:sig|da99|brainncr99 braincr02
Projects:Foundational Model of Anatomy, Dynamic Scene Generator, Digital Anatomist
Subjects:SIG Publications
ID Code:24
Deposited By:Hinshaw, Kevin
Deposited On:01 May 2003