New free iBook demonstrates power of iPad as a medical education learning platform

Here at iMedicalApps, we are strong believers that mobile technology can make a significant, measurable, positive impact on medical education. From the enhanced visuals for anatomy, to medical journals, to the proliferation of interactive textbooks such as those offered by Inkling and more recently, the iBook.

One of the first medical iBooks was prominently featured on iMedicalApps and highly successful in demonstrating the power of Apple’s iBooks Author as a platform. iMedicalApps is pleased to announce that another free medical iBook created by UK medical student, Stuart Stewart, is helping prove that interactive iBooks can make a measurable difference. His medical iBook on the subject of the Brachial Plexus.

The efficacy of the medical iBook was tested by creating an experiment using the pre-test/post-test study design. 26 anatomy students agreed to evaluate the resource. They were given a pre-resource test containing 8 Multiple choice questions(MCQs). They then used the iBook for 30 minutes and finally took a post-resource test containing 8 different MCQs which were matched with level of difficulty as the pre test. Improvement scores were measured which were found to be statistically significant (p = 0.0004).

Read on for more details regarding the specifics of this iBook and how to download it for free!

The aim of this iBook is to help students learn and understand the structure and function of the brachial plexus by guiding the reader through four key areas. There is extensive use of interactive content throughout the app in the form of videos, question sessions in addition to the options offered as part of the iBooks app. This includes the ability to highlight passages, make notes or generate study cards based on material within the iBook.

The iBook is broken down into sections:

  • Introduction
  • Definitions
  • Gross Anatomy
  • Relative Anatomy
  • Functions of Branches

Each section usually consists of five pages which give a concise overview of the material covered. The level of detail is basic but an ideal introduction for medical students who are trying to get to grips with the basics of the brachial plexus.

I felt after reading this short iBook that my knowledge had definitely been reinforced with this direct targeted approach.

The diagrams and interactive content within the iBook are to be highly commended. They look extremely professional and there are plenty of them to help aid understanding. This is impressive as the lack of open source pictures has previously been identified as a potential minefield for would-be iBook authors.

iBooks offers a useful ability to make interactive content full screen and there are moments where an audio explanation accompanies the visuals.

How to Download:

This iBook is currently being reviewed by Apple, but the author, Stuart Stewart, has graciously allowed iMedicalApps readers to download it via this post. [exclusive_file alt_text=’In order to download the iBook, please register (free) on iMedicalApps. Once you register, you’ll see a link in this paragraph allowing you to download the iBook.’]Download the iBook.[/exclusive_file] If you are on a computer then you can download it and drag it into iTunes or alternatively, if you are on an iPad, then click on the link and then ‘Open in iBooks’. Please note you will need the latest version of iBooks to display this iBook properly. Alternatively, US users can follow this link to download from the US iTunes store.

Note, once you register on iMedicalApps, you’ll see a link to download the iBook in the above paragraph.

Let us know your thoughts on this iBook in the comments!


Tom Lewis


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17 Responses to New free iBook demonstrates power of iPad as a medical education learning platform

  1. jjohnson May 23, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    It would be interesting to see the results of a study in which there were two groups – one who used the book and one who used paper to learn the material.

  2. Stuart Stewart May 23, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Hi JJohnson,

    The study has been written up and I am in the process of contacting journals for to get the study published. The study involved 26 anatomical science students. The students were given a pre-iBook test, they then used the iBook for 30 minutes, and then completed a post-iBook test.

    The next study I am going to do is to compare it against traditional teaching methods such as dissection, lectures, and self-directed study, which is something you highlighted.

  3. Jorge Torres May 27, 2012 at 4:15 am #

    I look forward to the results from your study Stuart.

  4. aroy May 28, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    wheres the link?

    • Iltifat Husain, MD May 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

      The link is in the last paragraph

  5. mjdavies May 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Hi Stuart
    Impressive! How long did it take you to make the resource? I’ve tried myself but the formatting took ages. Did you grab the images freely from the internet?
    Looking forward to the results of the study.
    Many thanks

    • Stuart Stewart June 18, 2012 at 4:36 am #

      Hi mjdavies,

      It took me about 6 weeks to make the iBook from start to finish, but during that time I was only working on it for half of the week, so in actual fact about 3 full weeks.

      All of the images are ones that I created myself. Everything was created using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Keynote. The photos are of myself and a friend. All images were taken with an iPhone 4S.

      When the study is published i’ll be sure to post a link here.

  6. Mjosenavadatt August 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Amazing! I love this kind of interactive approaches! . I’m a med student too, but I also teach groups of 10 to 20 people on first year of Med school. I will try this with my students …
    I would really like to read you research, hope it is published soon.

    Good luck!

  7. Jonny vang December 9, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Hi Stewart, first i must say you have done a wonderfull work making the ibook brachial plexus. It really helps me learn anatomy innthe upper extremity. I hope you continue, couse i find it very exciting to learn anatomy this way. ( By the way, I am a Scandinavian medical student…) please let us know if younare going to make some more ibooks or apps. I am willing to pay for what youbare going to publish..:-)

    Good luck!

  8. stuartstewart December 10, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Hi Jonny,

    Thank you very much for your kind feedback! I worked quite hard on the Brachial Plexus iBook so I’m glad you find it useful.

    There will be a revision made to Brachial Plexus for Students in January so keep your eye out for that. It should notify you in the iBookstore that there is a newer version available. It will still be free!

    Also, keep your eyes out for some more iBooks in the first quarter of 2013! Some more in the pipeline.



    • Samcobra December 30, 2012 at 8:47 am #

      Can you please create an Android version of this?

  9. Sarah Copeland April 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Would like to download this, but despite registering it can’t be opened on the iPad.

  10. Kent Lee July 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Hi, thank you for sharing the book! I’m having trouble downloading it. When I tap on “Download the IBook”, nothing happened and I reside outside of US. Help is appreciated!

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