by: Brian Chau, MS3

Being able to recognize key anatomical landmarks on radiological imagery is important for any medical student or clinician.

NeuroRad Mini is an app available through iTunes for users looking for a mobile reference and review guide to brain images.

NeuroRad Mini, from developer RadLynx, is a clinical MRI brain atlas for iOS devices. It features coronal, sagittal, and axial views of the brain. These are all labeled, allowing for easy viewing and review of important anatomical locations and relationships.

Designed by a senior member of the American Society of Neuroradiology, NeuroRad Mini is a more limited version of the iPad-only app, NeuroRad, also from RadLynx. NeuroRad Mini is designed to be a quick-reference guide to MRI views of the brain, while the iPad version offers more features, due to the limitations of the screen size and processing power of the iPod Touch and iPhone platforms.

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I was impressed by how easy it was to navigate NeuroRad Mini on a small device such as the iPod Touch. Everything in the app loaded quickly, with little noticeable lag. Image scrolling through different cross-sectional views are fluid and accomplished by using the Multitouch contols. I could either swipe once to change to a single new view, or enable continuous image changes by dragging two fingers on screen. Just swiping to view the next image seemed to be the best way to view images through NeuroRad Mini.

NeuroRad Mini also allows the user to view labeled images of the various neuro cross-sections. This option is very useful, especially in a clinical educational setting. A simple upward swipe on the screen will turn off labels, while swiping down turns them on. The pointers to each brain region are easy to follow and visualize, even on the smaller screen of the iPod Touch. To zoom in, double-tapping the brain or tapping the magnifier glass will do the trick. I did notice that zoomed in images weren’t quite as detailed as many would like, but they are certainly still useful for learning and reference.

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While some medical apps require an active Internet connection to pull images and information, NeuroRad Mini offers almost all of its content locally. This is a huge benefit, as not every user has access to a network data plan or wireless connection 24/7. Even the basic help and support pages on the app do not require active network access. Finally, for users desiring more information or assistance with NeuroRad Mini, the developer’s website offers a fairly comprehensive FAQ and user guide.

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Price and technicals:

  • NeuroRad Mini is available for $9.99, through iTunes
  • This app requires iOS 4.3 or later and runs on the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad
  • There is also a larger version named NeuroRad available for the iPad exclusively.

Likes:

  • Wonderful review of brain anatomy seen through MRI imagery
  • Large selection of high-quality neuro MRI images
  • Smooth navigation and superb layout
  • Excellent clinical relevance
  • Great customer support, both online and off

Dislikes:

  • Users of older iOS devices will not be able to run NeuroRad Mini
  • Limited to MRI imagery

Conclusion:

  • NeuroRad Mini is a solid choice for a brain atlas utilizing MRI imagery
  • It’s a must-have for any user interested in better understanding the anatomic layout of the brain in a clinical setting.

Links:

Developer
iTunes