Coming to a Computer Near You… Your Body in 3-D

Reported by ABC news’ Gitika Ahuja, from TEDMED2011, a conference of ideas and innovation.

Think of it as Pixar meets the National Institutes of Health: A new health initiative designed by internationally renowned art director and technologist Alexander Tsiaras and wellness Guru Dr. Deepak Chopra that aims to visually decipher through images and storytelling all the things going on inside the human body, or as Tsiaras puts it, the marvel of how we are made.

The website, brought to you by the folks from TheVisualMD.com launches in January, with a new section being every week for 15 weeks.  Tsiaras gave us a sneak peak here at TEDMED 2011, and I must admit the 3-D images and videos are beautiful, seemingly precise and detailed as they try to give “soul to data.”  Tsiaras says the visualizations are as accurate as science understands the human body today.

Imagine actually seeing what different medications are doing inside your body, dissecting vitamins to better understand why you need them by seeing what happens inside your body when you eat them.  Why should or shouldn’t you get B6 or vitamin D?  The website aims to educate and change behavior through good storytelling — showing you things like the effect of exercise on your muscles and metabolism — what’s happening in your body when you get aerobic versus anaerobic exercise?  What about how the human vessel ages over time?

Tsiaras says, “This is the kind of thing that when you watch it you might say, ‘I finally get it.’”  The website is free and without ads, funded by educational grants from Quest Diagnostics, Frito Lay and Pepsi.

The program will tackle:  Your physical exam and turning your lab reports into an iTunes sort of environment where you can see a history of your individual data to better understand through the images on the site what the data means for you.  The biggest section is Rule #3, called “How Food Becomes You” and gets down to the basic levels of understanding nutrition, simplifying it inside of our complicated bodies. Indeed these are the kinds of things we all want to understand more clearly.  There will also be an encyclopedia of disease categories, giving patients the education they need to help them live that information out.

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