iMedicalApps has taken a good look at the NOVA series the past couple of weeks. This highly successful collection of apps by 3D4Medical has taken the medical world by storm.

Recently, we interviewed the CEO of 3D4Medical for our readers to see what direction the NOVA series is headed.

Indeed, we discovered that 3D4Medical has worked closely with Stanford University to update all their NOVA apps to version III as well as releasing a number of other specialized apps.

This particular article will focus on Heart Pro III which is a substantial upgrade to Heart Pro.

Heart Pro III allows a detailed look at the anatomy of the heart from a range of perspectives while including detailed anatomical information and a range of animations among other features. The graphics have been updated and the visual appeal of the 3D heart is impressive. This model can be rotated around with a simple swipe and can be manipulated using ‘swiping’ gestures as can be seen in the screenshot.

There are four particular layers in this model which cover the Veins and Arteries, Arteries, Tissue and Conduction Nerves. Like all the NOVA series, it is possible to merge these layers into a custom layer which allows the user to highlight particular features. I found this very useful to visualize exactly where the conduction nerves ran throughout the heart (see screenshot).



This does lead to the first drawback, though. When you merge layers, the NOVA modelling engine offers the ability to load these views in other orientations. As you can see from the screenshot, this can add a considerable amount of time waiting for the app to load. This is no fault of 3D4Medical as I assume that these times are based on hardware processing power.



Each view has been fully labelled with pins which are also fully indexed. Tapping on a structure in the index will cause the app to automatically take the user to the pin and label it. Each pin contains information related to the structure including audio pronunciation, custom notes and the ability to access ‘social notes’  i.e. you can see all the custom notes that people have associated with that particular pin.



The quiz function has been updated and now includes a simpler ‘drag and drop’ format which is more visually appealing than the last version.



One new feature that has been introduced into the ‘NOVA III’ series is the introduction of animations and media. There are a number of animations which are included within the app, although more can be obtained with an in-app purchase. These animations are high quality and fantastic learning tools which really bring the model to life and vastly increase understanding. The clear visual representation of common pathologies really helps one to comprehend what is happening within our patients. Another useful feature is the pen tool which allows you to draw all over the screen while a number of sharing options allow the image to be easily exported.


Check out the video of Heart Pro III in action:


  • $17.99


  • Very impressive graphics and photorealistic 3D model
  • Animations serve to consolidate learning of how pathology affects the heart
  • Simple user interface


  • Time spent loading different views
  • Paying for extra animations

Overall Rating:

  • Heart Pro III is a real step forward for 3D4Medical in terms of education
  • The updated NOVA apps will all appeal to visual learners of all ages
  • No better app out there for learning cardiac anatomy

iTunes link