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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 37-38

Body projection: An accessible tool for human anatomy teaching

University Center of United Metropolitan Faculties, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Date of Submission18-Feb-2020
Date of Decision08-Jul-2020
Date of Acceptance22-Feb-2021
Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2021

Correspondence Address:
Mike Yoshio Hamasaki
Centro Universitário das Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas, Av. Santo Amaro, 1239 - Vila Nova Conceição, Sao Paulo - SP, 04505-002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_52_20

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How to cite this article:
Hamasaki MY, Mendes C, Neto JP. Body projection: An accessible tool for human anatomy teaching. Educ Health 2021;34:37-8

How to cite this URL:
Hamasaki MY, Mendes C, Neto JP. Body projection: An accessible tool for human anatomy teaching. Educ Health [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 10];34:37-8. Available from:

Dear Editor,

Although the models for traditional classes have their importance, a variety of studies show that the incorporation of complementary interactive methods is able to give a better environment for the learning of the students.[1] In the teaching of human anatomy, the traditional methods like dissection of cadavers are in decline. With the availability of numerous supporting or alternative of learning (images of complementary exams, surgical videos, body painting, interactive media, and virtual reality) and the costs of labs maintenance, a debate about the necessities of corpses during the university study, especially for education of health field professionals that do not perform invasive procedures,[2] is advisable.

In this context, the change of teaching from the traditional in-person, face-to-face classroom to a world increasingly digital and influenced by new technologies, digital resources, and educational software are important tools to involve students and promote a more efficient way of learning. Recently, electronic tools (e-tools) were launched and offered for the anatomy teaching.[3],[4]

The technique of body projection consists of a complementary method which uses software that allow the user to examine anatomical representations of organs or the complete body system through images projected on the surface of the body of a model/volunteer [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Representations of the nervous system (a), muscular system (b) using the Complete Anatomy® software (3D4Medical) and cardiovascular system (c) using the Zygote Body® software. Real situations of practical classes using body projection combined with palpatory anatomy (d) and body painting (e)

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According to Singh et al.,[5] it is important for anatomy professors to explore innovative and stimulating, engaging, creative, purposeful, multimodal means to encourage proactive and deep learning, and to develop long-term memory in students in order to improve student engagement and learning outcomes that align with their professional goals. In this circumstance, there are advantages to projected anatomical images onto live human beings.

A variety of strategies can be used to manage the quality of the offered experience to the students. We listed below some of the characteristics that should be considered:

  1. Projector resolution and local light: The projectors use micro internal display, which has a fixed pixel matrix. This matrix is called native resolution. This native resolution of this equipment will be directly proportional to the quality of an anatomic image represented by a model's body, especially in large projections. Further, an environment with low light shows a better representation of the body structures
  2. Distance from a projection spot: The environment available for this technique can be challenging for larger structures of the body. If larger structures are projected a distance of about 3 m between the projector and the model is needed
  3. Costumes used by models: Although research done by Debra Patten in 2007 at Durham University in the United Kingdom[6] describes the feasibility of this technique used on a naked body, we suggest use of a white body suit (covering the major body surface of the model) to offer an optimized experience for the students
  4. Chosen software quality: Software used deserves the most attention, because the content quality provided by the manufacturer software can contribute to or detract from student learning. To guarantee better quality, the image and description provided should be compatible with and faithful to the most updated anatomical definitions. An interface combined with good visual techniques and good usability practices contributes to the success of use of this technique for teaching and learning. There are lots of applications that make it possible to resize the projection to a specific body model or even the gender.

Based on the summary above, we suggest the body projection technique is a complementary and innovative intervention that, when added to other teaching methods of human anatomy, give students in the health professions an engaging experience, has great value for learning, and is viable and simple for teachers to use.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Lochner L, Wieser H, Waldboth S, Mischo-Kelling M. Combining traditional anatomy lectures with e-learning activities: How do students perceive their learning experience? Int J Med Educ 2016;7:69-74.  Back to cited text no. 1
McMenamin PG, McLachlan J, Wilson A, McBride JM, Pickering J, Evans DJR, et al. Do we really need cadavers anymore to learn anatomy in undergraduate medicine? Med Teach 2018;40:1020-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
Chakraborty TR, Cooperstein DF. Exploring anatomy and physiology using iPad applications. Anat Sci Educ 2018;11:336-45.  Back to cited text no. 3
Erolin C. Interactive 3D Digital Models for Anatomy and Medical Education. Adv Exp Med Biol 2019;1138:1-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
Singh K, Bharatha A, Sa B, Adams OP, Majumder MA. Teaching anatomy using an active and engaging learning strategy. BMC Med Educ 2019;19:149.  Back to cited text no. 5
Patten D. What lies beneath: Use of three dimensional projection in living anatomy teaching. The Clinical Teacher 2007;4:10-4.  Back to cited text no. 6


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