iMedicalApps is currently reviewing a wide range of anatomy apps in order to find out which are the most useful. One strong contender is the NOVA series which covers a wide range of anatomical regions.

We have previously reviewed Brain Pro and were impressed, noting “This application contains many successful features such as realistic images, selective layers, pin information and dynamic quiz function which ensures that it is certainly worth a look”.

One of the more successful applications of the NOVA series is Muscle System Pro II. This version (released specifically for iPad) is designed to be used as a learning tool using photo-realistic models which can be manipulated using standard touch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and swipe gestures.

Users can rotate, cut, zoom, and view animations of the body gaining an understanding of the complex anatomy associated with the musculoskeletal system.


Initially you are presented with a 3D model of the human body which can be dissected into a number of layers, demonstrating the musculature from superficial to deep. The quality of the 3D model is excellent and adds to the overall experience.


Zooming into a particular region, such as the shoulder, elbow, or knee causes the app to load a detailed 3D anatomical model of that region. This can also be manipulated using touch gestures and can be ‘dissected’ into a number of layers using the scalpel tool. The ability to look up a single area is fantastic and really helps develop understanding of the gross anatomy.

In any view, it is possible to switch on standard pin labels which illustrate all the main musculoskeletal points in the given view. These pins are only visible when the anatomical model is either viewed laterally or anterior-posterior. To date, no anatomy app developer has found a way to maintain the location of pins on a 3D model as it is manipulated.

Selecting a pin displays all the information regarding the muscle such as origin, insertion, action, innervation and blood supply. Muscle Pro II also includes the ability to add notes to each pin whilst pins can also be added manually – these are denoted with a yellow pin.


I sometimes found there were views which I wanted but weren’t available.

One example of this is a transverse slice through the leg which is usually the best way to illustrate the different muscular compartments. The model was generally very easy to manipulate in terms of anterior, posterior and lateral views however, I did encounter difficulties using the superior or inferior view as it was often not available.


The search function was useful to quickly locate muscles, with a nice touch being the transition from your current viewpoint to the muscle in question.  The search function also takes you through the layers and allows you to rotate the model to find the optimal viewpoint.

It was disappointing to see that there were no pins on any of the skeletal bones given the synergy between this system and the musculoskeletal system. Although does offer a skeletal system app (in the NOVA series), it would have been nice to combine the two in this case.


The quiz mode is a useful addition and can be setup to test a variety of regions or alternatively focus on one area. The format of the quiz is twelve ‘name the muscle’ multiple choice questions, each with six options. There is no ability to manipulate the model to get a better view, although it occasionally rotates around to offer a more useful view.


The app also contains a number of social sharing features which are becoming more common among mobile medical apps. Muscle Pro II offers the ability to share an anatomical view either by Email, Twitter or Facebook.


See a video of Muscle System Pro II below:



  • $19.99


  • Attractive 3D model which can be easily manipulated to understand complex muscle anatomy
  • Detailed pin information
  • Quiz function

Dislikes/Future improvements we’d like to see:

  • Lack of information regarding skeletal components
  • As an aside, the NOVA series are individually all very impressive. It would be fantastic to see combine all their NOVA apps into one major NOVA anatomy atlas. Whilst this may be a far off idea, one can but hope.

Overall Rating:

  • Muscle Pro II is an impressive app for those who are purely focused on the muscular system.
  • While the lack of innervation information and skeletal components is disappointing, it is impossible to ignore the sheer quality of this app with regards to the muscular system.
  • The price of Muscle Pro II is a fair reflection of the utility of this app, although the limitations should certainly be noted before purchasing.

iTunes link: Muscle System Pro II