A state of the art 'digital autopsy center' will be opened up in Sheffield, making it the first major departure from four centuries old method of conducting post mortem of dead bodies.
Costing around £3 million, this will be the first of 18 such centers that will be launched in the UK and experts hope that around 70 percent of all autopsies will be conducted through this method. The center will make use of CT scanners and computers to conduct the autopsy with the technology being developed by Malaysian medical software company iGene.
The CT scanner will be taking over 3,400 cross sections of the body and will automatically mark out anything it finds to be unusual. Pathologists will be able to view 3D images of the cross sections and carry out their examinations through the computer, instead of cutting open the body.
"The process of carrying out a post-mortem examination hasn't changed much for the last 400 years and this is the first step forward in the next revolution. The software will enable us to see exactly where problems are in the body and will allow us to carry out less invasive and more dignified autopsies. When families lose a loved one it is a very difficult time for them and the thought that the body is being dissected can be very uncomfortable for them", Professor Peter Vanezis, chief forensic medical officer for iGene in the UK and consultant forensic pathologist to the Home Office said.