By Courtney Llewellyn
Reminder Assistant Editor
SPRINGFIELD - This reporter was shocked by the "baby" in the bassinet that greets you when you first step into the Accu-Vista office. It looked so real that I took extra care closing the door so as not to wake it.
The baby wasn't real -- but the three-dimensional scanning provided by Accu-Vista allowed an artist to recreate a model of an actual infant down to the tiniest details.
Ed Wood of Accu-Vista took this scan of himself to demonstrate how the white light scanning technology works.
Ed Wood opened Accu-Vista in downtown Springfield about a year ago. A former art teacher, hospital in-service teacher, game designer, Wood decided about three years ago that he wanted to do something different. He did a Google search of the terms "medical" and "technology," learned about 3-D scanning, and his new career was born.
Accu-Vista uses white light 3-D scanning to provide myriad services which can be used for plastic surgery, dermatology, burn masks, infant doll scans, child identification, cosmetology and surgery planning. As far as Wood knows, his business is the first in the country that offers direct to consumer multi-service scanning.
"This type of scanning really only started in 1993, 1995," Wood explained. "It's still in its infancy." He added that the technology is usually used in hospitals, at universities and in the movie industry to turn an actor into a computer-generated image.
Wood noted that he had heard scanning was a solution to an unasked problem. For example, Wood said, a child identification scan can be used in the case of a missing child more accurately than just a photograph. Another example would be having a full facial scan done in case serious burns cause damage to facial skin using a scan, a burn mask can be crafted without making a plaster cast.
In addition, Wood is looking to expand his services to help those with foot problems and those who have undergone mastectomies because of breast cancer.
He is looking for female volunteers in a variety of sizes to come in to have their chests scanned to offer accurate representations for breast reconstruction surgeries after other women have undergone mastectomies. Those who are also scheduled for mastectomies are also invited to have a scan made prior to surgery. Wood would make the scans available to plastic surgeons, and if women aren't comfortable having him do the scans, he said his wife could do them.
Those interested in volunteering should visit www.accu-vista.com/volunteer.
All these services are currently for personal use only; Wood is still working on making connections with local doctors and hospitals so they can use the technology as well.
"Just about anything you can imagine can be done [with scanning]," Wood said.
Every service he offers involves a two-step process: an individual comes in and gets the scan done, which is then sent off for merging, then the individual comes back two days later to see the results.
In order to protect each person's privacy, Wood stores nothing on the computer that takes the scans; each file is kept on a disk that is stored in a locked safe.
"There's so much that can be done with this technology," Wood said. "We're always learning new ways to use it."
Accu-Vista is located at 20 Maple St., on the fourth floor, Suite 3. To see some 3-D examples and to learn more about Accu-Vista, visit www.accu-vista.com.
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