Monday, December 20, 2010

The Human Body: One Click Away with Google’s Body Browser

Author: Brittany Chan

Every day, we “Google” driving directions, our email, and answers to our questions. Google Earth even allows us to catch a glimpse of our old house or a city on the other side of the world. Now, we can “Google” the human body with Google’s new Body Browser, which launched on Thursday. With an interface similar to that of Google Maps or Google Earth, the user can search for various anatomical parts, rotate the model, and view the body in layers. Body Browser can only be used on browsers with WebGL support (including the new Google chrome beta and Firefox beta).

I’ve played around with it and it works fairly well, though I wish it provided an option to get more information about a particular body part as opposed to simply labeling it. Additionally, many parts are not yet available in the search database (my search for “iliac crest” turned up nothing, then tried to redirect me to the iliacus). The project is still in Google Labs so I’m sure there are improvements to come. Either way, it is a medical student’s dream come true! Body Browser will also be a useful tool for both healthcare professionals and patients.

Explore it yourself here. You can also read this article for more information about Body Browser and links to demos on YouTube.

This was written by Brittany Chan.

Brittany Chan is a second-year medical student at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas. She is also a candidate for an MBA in Health Organization Management from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. Originally from the Houston area, she graduated summa cum laude with degrees in psychology and general studies from Texas Tech University in 2009. In addition to blogging, Brittany enjoys reading, crafts, and spending time with family and friends.

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