by: Jim Brockett

Instant Anatomy Heart Lecture by Robert Whitaker is a free, concise application that serves as an excellent review or a precursor to more rigorous studies on heart anatomy.

Dr. Whitaker is a pediatric urology surgeon in the UK, teaching anatomy to medical students at Cambridge as well as trainees in more advanced fields of study.

As a result, his Instant Anatomy series has gained quite a following among health professionals, most likely due to his ability to easily communicate difficult anatomy topics through lecture format.

His full website can be found at

In his Instant Anatomy Heart Lecture, Dr. Whitaker breaks down heart anatomy into a few subdivisions: the heart’s orientation in the chest, the pericardium, the chambers, the heart’s conduction system, coronary artery anatomy, and venous drainage.

There are 12 slides in total for this lecture, though the right atrium slide is duplicated to discuss conduction system anatomy. The entire thing takes about 17 minutes to listen to, and the listener can pause and resume the lecture, advance slides, and zoom in on the pictures and text contained within the slides.

However, once you navigate to a different slide other than the one you were on, the lecture starts at a set point for the new slide. This means that you cannot look back or forward to a slide without losing your spot in Dr. Whitaker’s narration. I found myself wanting to look back at something, but choosing not to because that would mean I have to re-listen to a part of the lecture. I also wish there was a slider to either change the speed or advance along a lecture timeline, since Dr. Whitaker has a tendency to talk rather quickly and it would be useful to be able to rewind 10 seconds to catch something I missed.

As can be seen in the sample slides, they are colorful and packed with labeled structures. Some have text that further explains an important aspect highlighted by Dr. Whitaker. Though they appear slightly cartoonish, the slides serve their purpose and may actually get the point across better than, for example, a Netter image.

The lecture is well structured and well presented, with Dr. Whitaker speaking clearly throughout its entirety. Health professionals would benefit the most from this app, as the medical jargon and detailed anatomical descriptions surpass what is needed by most patients to understand a heart condition or its anatomy.

I was even inspired to look up more on certain aspects of the anatomy, since a few topics were presented that I was unfamiliar with. I do wish, however, that the slide for the conduction system was not simply a reused slide from another part of the lecture. I think this aspect of heart structure and physiology is important enough to get at least one unique slide for its description.

This app is definitely worth the price (free!), even if you listen only once to refresh yourself on basic heart anatomy. It does not take up much space on an android device, and it is a good preview to the other Instant Anatomy lectures available for android devices at various prices.

Listeners should check out the other lectures if they find this one especially informative.


  • Free!


  • Excellent slide illustrations
  • Can listen to the entirety in one sitting
  • Dr. Whitaker is quite knowledgeable, and the amount of information he crams into this lecture is amazing


  • The lecture can be hard to follow sometimes because Dr. Whitaker talks quickly
  • Conduction system slide is a repeat slide from earlier in the lecture

Would like to see:

  • Lecture timeline slider or ability to adjust the lecture speed so my brain can keep up with Dr. Whitaker
  • Better slides and narration for the conduction system


  • Instant Anatomy Heart Lecture for Android is a free, easy way to learn a little more about heart anatomy and physiology
  • Though the app has a few flaws, it is still recommended for health professionals wishing to see heart anatomy presented in a novel and concise manner

Android Link