One of the big advances in anatomical medical education is based in the development of 3D anatomy models on the iPad.

We reviewed Visible Body when it was first came out and also noted that it was the Top Anatomy App for the iPad.

Now the same team has worked to bring out a new app called 3D Muscular Premium Anatomy. This app is available on iPad and Mac with an iPhone 4/4s version under development.

Read on to learn about some of the exciting advances the Visible Body team have made in this area.

The premise of this app is relatively simple; it is designed to aid understanding and learning of the musculskeletal system. It does this with a rich 3D graphic model which can be manipulated and adjusted using simple touch gestures.

Launching the app gives the user options to view by individual muscle, regional anatomy or groups of muscles.

Once a particular region has been selected, the user is introduced to the 3D model which was visually impressive. This is enhanced by the colour and fibres of each muscle.There is an ability to hide or fade muscles to appreciate the different layers alongside an origin/insertion map which can be used to identify the precise anatomical locations of each muscle.

One of the most impressive features of 3D Muscular Anatomy Premium is the pins marking out the origins and insertions of each muscle. Tapping on a muscle brings up a red pin (marking the origin) and a blue pin (marking the insertion). Tapping on one of these pins e.g. origin shows the bony attachment whilst tapping on the pin icon next to the definition will re-orientate the model to display the best view of the insertion.

This feature is incredibly impressive at highlighting complex anatomy. This is because the pins are viewable in the 3D model and move with the model as it is manipulated. This brings clarity and understanding to this particular aspect of musculoskeletal anatomy. The detail supplied with each muscle is helpful and includes information such as
Origin, Insertion, Innervation and Action.

There is also a complete viewable skeletal system which contains detail on the muscle attachments. Tapping on a particular pin will bring that muscle into view so it is possible to build up layers of muscles. There are a number of bony anatomical landmarks which are included as well. The index is useful as it also includes a picture of the anatomy as well as the word.

Other useful features are the quiz mode, which test the user, and the search function, which allows the user to rapidly find a specific muscle. The screenshot and annotation features are useful while studying as you can save particular images for future reference. Images can also be emailed to colleagues. This app has recently been updated to take advantage of the New iPad’s HD display.

The only drawback I really noted was the slow loading times; however, these are understandable given the scope of the app. Another useful update would be the ability to add animations to improve understanding of how a particular muscle affects the body.

3D Muscular Premium Anatomy is ideal for students, instructors, and healthcare professionals who seek to learn, better understand, or communicate in-depth information about muscle attachments, actions, and relationships.

See below for an in-depth video look at 3D Muscular Premium Anatomy



  • $4.99 (75% off sale); Editors Note: The price is now $19.99


  • Refined, visually appealing graphics and texturing of 3D model
  • Origin and Insertion pins remain in place during 3D movement
  • Ability to view individual muscles


  • Slow loading times
  • No animations

Overall Rating

  • 3D Muscular Premium Anatomy is a worthy addition for any healthcare practitioner interested in musculoskeletal anatomy
  • The combination of impressive detail and 3D graphics mean this app is a market leader.

iTunes link