So, this is me. All 835mb of me.
I spent half an hour earlier this week having an MRI scan. Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with me (that I know of). My friend +Marcus Foster
has started a business called Klarismo, and I managed to wangle my way into being one of their first customers.
You can read a load more at www.klarismo.com
, but basically: they do 3D body scans using MRI and give you the data. It’s designed for anyone who’s interested in knowing a little bit more about themselves, particularly over time: so athletes examining the results of a training regime, dieters looking at what’s actually going on under the skin, all that sort of stuff. Off the back of this, they’ll build up a huge database of these scans and make it available for medical research - so, a bit like 23andme, you’re contributing to SCIENCE as well as learning a bit about yourself. OK, enough plug.
The process was surprisingly straightforward; I wandered over to the UCSF Imaging Centre in SF and met Marcus in reception. Next step: fill out a form confirming there was definitely no metal anywhere in my body, etc., and change into a hospital gown and light trousers. Tight underwear is inadvisable, the elastic making unsightly indentations in your skin.
Friends who’ve done MRIs in the past have warned me that they’re noisy and uncomfortable. I was prepared for discomfort, but found the whole experience absolutely fine. The iffiest bit for me was having my legs gently strapped down and a cage-like device put over my head, to increase the signal during the brain scan. As I was being inserted into the doughnut-like body of the scanner, the technician asked me to keep my eyes shut (to avoid a laser), and being sliiightly claustrophobic I kept them shut through most of the procedure. Half an hour passed very quickly - the rhythmic whirrs and clanks of the machine were oddly soothing, and the robotic directions to breathe in, then out, then hold my breath (for what felt like ten seconds) easy to follow.
I now have an 835mb zip file of my body, and have been fooling with various free medical imagine software to try and visualise it; you can see some movies and screen captures below. The UI and language on much of this software isn’t exactly consumer-friendly; I’m looking forward to seeing what Klarismo provide for making sense of my 835mb. At the end of the scan itself, I looked at a few screens on the technician’s PC in the lab but didn’t really get a sense for what had been captured: running through some of these tools is interesting, but what I’d like - a simple 3D model of my body where I take turn bone, muscle, fat, brain tissue and water on and off - isn’t simple to do (yet)..http://www.klarismo.com/