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Top 4 iPad anatomy medical apps

Anatomy is central in medicine. It is one of the key knowledge areas that separate doctors from the general population. All doctors, regardless of specialty are required to have a decent knowledge of human anatomy in order to practice effectively.

The introduction of the iPad ushered in a new era of anatomy learning with the introduction of detailed 3D models and vast amounts of information contained on a device no bigger than a paper notebook. Over the past few months, iMedicalApps has evaluated countless major anatomy apps currently available in the App Store to determine which ones are the best.

These applications were evaluated based on their content, ease of use, quality of anatomical illustrations and overall benefit to practicing physicians. A summary of each application is covered below including our choice for the best anatomy app.

Having comprehensively used these apps over a number of weeks, it is clear that there are a number of key apps which are ideal for use by practicing physicians and medical students alike. These are Pocket Body, Visible Body, Essentials Of Clinical Anatomy, and the NOVA Series.

Pocket Body

Price: $29.99
Pocket Body features a complete human model which can be viewed from 4 different orientations and 9 layers ranging from skin to skeleton. It has an intuitive user interface and contains a vast amount of learning material. The information supplied with each pin contains related information such as origin, insertion, innervation, clinical correlations as well as an ability to add individual notes. Pocket Body is completed by the addition of a robust quiz function and search function which means anatomical structures can be quickly located.

iTunes Link
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Visible Body

Price: $29.99
Visible Body is a complete, fully interactive 3D rendering of the human body and may one day replace traditional texts. Visible body contains a beautiful and detailed 3D rendering of the entire human body which is complemented by the ability to fully manipulate the model and search for structures. Text explanations of each structure reduces the need to refer to another book for detailed information although there is limited clinical information. The level of detail is extraordinarily high although there complex nuances such as bone landmarks are occasionally absent.

One of the major strengths of this app is the ability to illustrate certain aspects of anatomy using a combination of clever shading and model selection. Selecting a structure will highlight it making it easy to see where the particular structure lies. Visible Body is completed by the addition of a search function which quickly finds and highlights the relevant anatomical structure. Overall, Visible Body is an excellent app at an unbelievably competitive price.

iTunes Link
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Essentials of Clinical Anatomy By Inkling

Price: $64.99 with individual chapters available from $9.99

Essentials of Clinical Anatomy by Moore et al. is a renowned gross anatomy textbook which combines detailed anatomical information with a host of clinically relevant information. Inkling has successfully ported this textbook into an interactive format that combines a range of media, quizzes, high resolution images with a social dynamic to create a unique anatomical learning environment. While this book is designed for medical students who are learning the basics of clinical anatomy, it will definitely offer some use to healthcare professionals of all levels. We have covered some of the features offered in Inklings textbooks and all these are effectively implemented into Essentials of Clinical Anatomy.

Inkling Essential Clinical Anatomy
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The NOVA Series Collection

Price: Varies from $10-20 per app

NOVA_alt’s collection of applications based on their NOVA system have gained a number of positive reviews on this site. Apps such as Muscle System Pro II and Brain Pro contain detailed 3 dimensional models that can be fully manipulated and searched using a combination of unique touch gestures to remove layers. The NOVA series contains apps pertaining to every major aspect of anatomy such as Skeletal System, Muscles System, Nervous System, Urinary System and so on.

While each of these apps obviously has individual uses, it is necessary to purchase the complete set if you are looking for a complete anatomy set. The NOVA series is generally easy to use and is complemented by the quiz function and search functions. It is also useful to be able to add your own pins to relevant areas.

iTunes Link
Read the Full Review


Tom Lewis


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5 Responses to Top 4 iPad anatomy medical apps

  1. Mark Campbell January 11, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    Wow, this is great news guys! Thanks so much for including Pocket Body in your ‘Top 4 iPad anatomy medical apps’ – we are honored!

    Best wishes for 2012 to you and all your readers.

    Mark and all the team

  2. Robert January 11, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    The latest version of the Muscle System Pro is Nova III not Nova II. Many features have been added such as insertion and origin points mapped on the bone, also the app has a comprehensive animation database enabling the identification of the muscles function; flexion, extension, abduction and adduction, etc.

    The app also has a built in discussion forum and audio pronunciations to further help students of anatomy.

    I feel the review would be somewhat fairer had the latest versions been compared.

  3. Andrew Bowditch January 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    From the team at Visible Body to the team at iMedicalApps: Thank you! We
    appreciate the recognition and look forward to publishing more anatomy apps in 2012.

  4. Angelina March 6, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Thank you for the information. I am taking an Anatomy class and plan to go into a Nursing program sometime next year.

    Visible Body is currently $29 so I definitely bought that. I think it is a great app. I do wish that there was a quiz type function but I also wish that it would point out some markings of individual structures like the NOVA series and PocketBody. I have found that the text explanation does help though. I really like the ability to hide or fade other features.

    PocketBody has some decent features especially the quiz but based on my current Anatomy sections, it isn’t as detailed as I need. Unless I missed it somehow, you only get the external features of the cranium and I’d like to see the internal features.

    My favorite really is the Pro series from Nova. Although I think all of them have their strong suits but the ability to zoom, cut away and put pins on features is great. My ideal program would be a mix of Pro and Visible body. Although I’m sure it’d be pretty pricey to do.

  5. bruce blausen May 15, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    I love these products…it makes understanding anatomy easy. Where we saw a lack of quality content was in the area of physiology…explaining the core concepts with 3d animations. This process is expensive and time consuming so few will attempt to create an app of this nature with no real known market. I however, felt that we could get at least 1,000 animations into our Blausen Anatomy & Physiology app. This app is ONLY a rich media asset app…it does not replace the book. Every major topic is covered in the 29 chapters…careful…this app is 5 gigs when fully downloaded.

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