The donation of human bodies for medical education purposes currently faces a shortage that could, in some way, limit the practical teaching of anatomy, aggravated in pandemic times.
Medical diagnosis has undergone a revolution due to the so-called “imaging techniques”, which obtain digital files containing, totally or partially, a virtual copy of the body.
This enables a new type of donation that has been termed, in recent publications, “virtual body donation”. According to this, a virtual body donation program, has been implemented, including a repository of digital samples, generated from image scans, provided by patients.
This article presents the program casuistry, analyzes the usefulness of this type of material, both from the educational and healthcare care points of view, and deals with some difficulties or problems in the constitution and management of these programs, as well as the solutions that could be implemented.
The program promotes an innovative form of teaching anatomy and related sciences (pathology, anthropology, and others). It also has advantages for the training of professionals in virtual dissection techniques and virtopsy. In addition, its usefulness in research appears to be unlimited in anatomy, anthropology, and other disciplines.
Virtual models, generated by these programs and organized as “object’s repositories”, extend their usefulness timelessly and they can be indefinitely studied. The need to expand these virtual donations to a multicenter and cooperative implementation is emphasized, with the purpose of creating extensive digital object’s repositories and including as many specimens as possible, both normal and pathological.