Wednesday, January 11, 2012

BioDigitalHuman - You've got to check out this site!

I've just spent the last two hours marveling at the incredibly elegant 3-D human anatomy website developed by BioDigital Systems (pointed to by Natashe Singer's article). (I'm finding the 3-D graphics work on either Firefox or Chrome, but not both, depending of which of my MacBook Pro laptops I'm using.  Go figure.  I use Apple computers, so can't comment on Microsoft Explorer.) You can view gross to detailed levels of skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, digestive, etc., systems. A click on a structure brings up a detailed description along with relevant clinical issues. I focused first on the brain (finding it helps if you first toggle off viewing the skeleton system skull that covers it. Duh!) You can zoom in and out, performing 3-D rotations to see precisely where structures are. Asking for smaller internal structure like the pituitary, or left or right amygdala, takes you to their internal location, and you can zoom in and out to appreciate how to get there. The transitions from external to internal brain structures are crude and jerky at this point, and I hope the developers will be adding more fine structure and smoother transitions during zooming. (It will take a massive amount of work to do this.)

I moved next to the muscular system, particularly around the knee joints (whose malfunctions in my case over the past year have convinced me I may no longer a teenager, in fact might be "old"). I found a more clear view of the muscles and their insertions that might underlie the pain than I've been able to get from several doctor's appointments.

Happy hunting!


  1. Hi Derek, thanks for the awesome review.

    Could you expand on your feedback on the transitions (ie zooming and from external to internal structures)?

    Any description you can offer of an more ideal user experience around this would be great, because we're wanting to improve this aspect of the app (including pan/zoom/rotate smoothness).

    PS. stay tuned for V2, coming soon.


  2. Lindsay, I will try to give you some more detailed suggestions if you send me your email address. A Skype videochat would be even more efficient.