A virtual autopsy is an specialized procedure through which a corpse is examined virtually to determine the cause and manner of death and to find out whether any disease or injury is present within the body. A virtual autopsy also known as ‘Virtopsy’ radiation is used by doctors to examine the innards to reach a conclusion about the causes of death. Normally during an autopsy or a postmortem the body of the injured or dead is cut open to find out various things, but with the help of virtual autopsies, it possible to carry out postmortem or autopsy without dissecting the body.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told Rajya Sabha that India soon will be the first country in South and Southeast Asia to carry out virtual autopsies. He said “The All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are working together on a technique for postmortem without incising/dissecting the body. This technique is likely to become functional in the next six months.”

Virtual autopsy has originated in Sweden, but is now a “common technique for autopsy” in major cities in Japan, the United States, Australia and many European countries. Virtopsy is much better than Traditional autopsies in many ways. It is less time consuming (a normal autopsy takes about two and a half hours whereas Virtopsy would only require thirty minutes). It is more effective and precise than normal postmortems. And often the dead person’s family feel uncomfortable regarding traditional postmortem, which is one of the main reasons for increasing the use of virtual autopsies internationally. Some groups —notably Jewish and Muslim communities — have religious objections to autopsy, and demand for a minimally-invasive alternative has increased. Virtopsy is much better than Traditional autopsies in many ways. It is less time consuming (a normal autopsy takes about two and a half hours whereas Virtopsy would only require thirty minutes). It is more effective and precise than normal postmortems. And often the dead person’s family feels uncomfortable regarding traditional postmortem, which is one of the main reasons for increasing the use of virtual autopsies internationally. Some groups —notably Jewish and Muslim communities — have religious objections to autopsy, and demand for a minimally-invasive alternative has increased. In 2018, in an article in the Journal of Pathology Informatics, Russian and Italian scientists compared the results of virtual autopsy and traditional postmortem. Out of 25 cases , the results of 16 cases that used virtual autopsy matched that of traditional autopsy.