Last night we discussed the emerging use of anatomy apps in medical education and its implications. The archive can be found here.

Joining us were special guests Andrew Bowditch, CEO of Visible Body, and Robert Cairnduff, content director for 3D4Medical.

Visible Body and 3D4Medical are both extremely innovative companies and major players in the anatomy app market. We at iMedicalApps would like to thank both of them for their time and valuable insights in the discussion.

The big debate was whether anatomy apps could replace cadaver dissection in gross anatomy lab. Cadaver dissection is common practice at most medical schools in the United States and traditionally seen as a rite of passage of sorts for medical students, as well as an exercise in facing humanity. It also allows students to experience the “feel” of another human body.

Anatomy apps have their own advantages: being able to turn a structure, peel back layers, zoom, and get a clear understanding of anatomical structures in 3D space. They are more easily accessible than cadavers and can be used almost anywhere.

Apps are especially valuable for learning anatomy in schools that prohibit cadavers, cannot otherwise obtain them, or choose not to include them in the curriculum. We also shared some of our favorite resources, discussed ways to improve anatomy apps in the future, and pointed out some of the weaknesses of the iPad as a teaching tool for anatomy.

The specific topics were as follows:

  • T1: How has iPad affected how med students learn anatomy? Do they know anatomy better or does it just make learning easier/more fun? Will it extinguish the need for gross anatomy lab and the use of cadavers?
  • T2: What are some of your favorite anatomy apps? What are some features you would like to see in an anatomy app? How should apps differ for surgical specialists vs general practitioners or medical students?
  • T3: What are the shortcomings of the iPad as an anatomy teaching tool? It was an exciting discussion and we hope everyone enjoyed it! The archive can be found here.

Next week, Wednesday, June 20, there will be no #mHealth chat, but we will resume the week after on Wednesday, June 27, for a special e-Patient #mHealth chat (stay tuned for more details!).