Monster Anatomy was prominently featured in older Apple commercials for the original iPad with their Lower Limb Anatomy app.

iMedicalApps did a full text and video review of the app last year.

This impressive app was well received by us, although one of its major limitations was the fact that it only covered the lower limb.

This has now changed with Monster Anatomy releasing a similar app covering the Upper Limb.

Upper Limb covers an area ranging from the shoulder down to the hand and presents detailed anatomical information in the same fashion as its predecessor.  Monster Anatomy has provided detailed interactive transverse, coronal and sagital radiographs of the Upper limb.

The fantastic user interface is easy to use and it is simple to scroll through the upper limb using either touch gestures or the sequential arrows. The actual radiographs can be zoomed and manipulated using pinch-to-zoom which is handy for examining fine detail.

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It is possible to select either Bones, Joints, Muscles, Vessels, or Nerves along a bottom tab which will then be illustrated on the actual radiograph. What is particularly impressive is that selecting a different tab will change the representation in the two 3D representations (see screenshots for details).

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The ability to follow a particular structure throughout the app is useful and is accomplished by selecting a label and using the arrows to navigate through the upper limb. The selected label will flash and this can be tracked throughout the images.

The level of detail is high and individual features can be clearly picked out of the high resolution images. It should be noted that this does not cover the sternoclavicular joint which is associated with stabilizing the upper limb.

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This app also has a number of uses for educating patients and could easily be used at the bedside to illustrate pathologies such as carpal tunnel syndrome (refer to screenshot).

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One of our dislikes was the fact that only one side is presented and unfortunately this has still not changed. As a result it is difficult to appreciate the symmetry and the anatomical differences between left and right.

However, the stability issues previously discussed do seem to have been solved (although this review was done on an iPad 2).

Price:

  • $18.99 – This seems quite expensive given the fact that only the upper limb is shown. This may price a number of medical students out of the market and a number of healthcare professionals may think twice about purchasing this app.

Likes:

  • Ability to scroll throughout the whole upper limb smoothly whilst tracking anatomical structures
  • Anatomical features are clearly labeled allowing you to test your knowledge
  • Detailed radiographic images

Dislikes:

  • Shows only one side of the body
  • Only covers the upper limb – for this price, would be nice to include more than just the upper limb

Overall Rating:

  • Monster Anatomy HD – Upper Limb would be particularly useful to students who are looking to transfer their gross anatomical knowledge to actual radiographs
  • The clear labels and ability to select and track different anatomical features is useful and complemented by the high resolution images
  • Despite the high price and lack of both upper limbs, this app will be useful for those who are trying to understand radiographic gross anatomy or interested in informing patients.

iTunes link: