Overall there is a great deal of choice when it comes to anatomy apps. All of the four initially selected, Pocket Body, Visible Body, Essentials Of Clinical Anatomy, and NOVA series contain useful features which many will find extremely useful. However, there can only be one top app which combines all of the essential functions: content, ease of use, quality of anatomical illustrations and overall benefit to practicing physicians. This is Visible Body.

There are many reasons for this. This app offers a detailed 3D human body which can be manipulated in any way possible. Anatomical structures can be highlighted and there is relevant information such as origin/insertion supplied. The app contains all the major systems which can be viewed individually or as part of the human body. The use of an adjustable 3D model means it is possible to get a full understanding of the complex anatomical relationships between a number of structures. The graphics are nothing short of breath taking and utilize a number of unique touch gestures. This makes Visible Body simple and easy of use.

Visible Body was a steal when it was initially launched at a price of $99.99. Now that the price has been slashed by 70% to $29.99, Visible Body is an essential purchase for healthcare professionals ranging from medical student to attending. It should be noted that it will only run on the iPad 2 due to its high memory requirements.

Pocket Body comes in second due to its attractive user interface and simple but well implemented anatomical model. There is a high level of detail and it is quick to find a particular anatomical structure. Both students and qualified professionals alike will find this app useful due to the combination of clinical and essential anatomy information. The quiz function is excellent and serves to consolidate knowledge efficiently.

Essentials of Clinical Anatomy is an excellent resource for students, though, its textbook nature means it may not always be suitable for advanced physicians who are looking for a quick anatomical recap. However, its combination of media integration, interactivity, annotation features and high resolution images mean that this app is essential for those learning/consolidating their knowledge of anatomy. While the complete book is expensive, the ability to purchase by chapter means that this cost can be spread out.

The NOVA series contain attractive 3D models with detailed anatomical information. The main reason they have come fourth is due to that fact that multiple apps need to be purchased in order to get a complete 3D representation of the human body. This has a number of implications: First, the cost overall goes up as each app is moderately priced so purchasing four or five apps is expensive. Second, you have to keep switching between apps in order to view anatomical detail relevant to that system-which is a pain.

A classic example of this is Muscle System Pro II which does not contain any notes on the skeletal system such as bone names or landmarks as these can be found in the Skeletal System app. Given the synergy between the muscular and skeletal systems, this seems like an oversight. If 3D4Medical.com could combine all their NOVA series into one app then it would be a very strong competitor in the anatomy app ecosystem.

So in rank order


  1. Visible Body
  2. Pocket Body
  3. Essentials Of Clinical Anatomy
  4. NOVA Series