Digital autopsy might take over regular autopsy

A regular autopsy takes around 2 hours but digital autopsy can take only 40 minutes

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Soon, a regular autopsy will be passé as Maharashtra may soon get its first digital autopsy centre which will be set up at Mumbai’s BYL Nair Hospital. Here, forensic experts will use high-definition scans instead of cutting open bodies. Generally, regular autopsy takes two hours while a digital autopsy will be done in 40 minutes.

On August 9, this project was first discussed in a meeting which was chaired by Idzes Kundan, Additional Municipal Commissioner (western suburbs) and Raees Shaikh, Municipal Corporator, D ward, Dr Avinash Supe, Director, Medical Education and major hospitals, and Sunil Dhamne, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, public health were at meeting along with forensic experts from Sion and Cooper Hospitals.

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Apart from the time factor, surgical autopsies have been unpopular with the families of the dead, for reasons both personal and religious. Digital autopsies will also help in medico-legal cases — where speedy procedures are required — and in cases where the cause of death is already known, such as accidents and mass casualties, experts said. If the project at Nair hospital proves efficient, the set-up may also be replicated at autopsy centres in other hospitals.

Dr Supe, with Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean, BYL Nair Hospital, Dr Rajesh Dere, head and professor, forensic medicine, Sion Hospital, Dr Shailesh Mohite, head of forensic department, Nair Hospital and Dr R Sukhdeve, medical superintendent, RN Cooper Hospital will discuss the project and will look at how effective digital autopsies can be and submit a report to the BMC.


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Dr Rajesh Dere, head, and professor, forensic medicine, Sion Hospital said that the project would save manual intervention required in unwarranted medico-legal cases. He added that in cases of burns, accidents, mass casualties and clinical deaths, where the cause is known, will be analysed within half-an-hour.

What is a digital autopsy?

In digital autopsy, experts use a high definition CT or MRI investigations in order to determine the cause of death in addition to or in place of the traditional autopsy. This technology rule out the need for an invasive procedure provides excellent 3D visualisation of the body and allows re-examination of digital images of the deceased long after death.

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