Traditional methods of anatomy learning have their limitations. Cadavers cannot be explored over and over, and students cannot manipulate the content of medical atlas or interact with it.
Medical anatomy apps give students and residents better insight into the structure of the human body than cadavers and medical textbooks. These apps, or virtual cadavers, allow users to view tissues, organs, and organ systems as high-quality illustrations and 3D models they could often interact with.
There is a range of anatomy apps available, ranging from flashcards and reference textbooks to 3D interactive maps and models. Here we list some of the most popular apps for learning anatomy.
Essential Anatomy App
Essential Anatomy is probably the best-known anatomy app around. It features 3D graphics engine that powers a highly-detailed anatomical model. The app includes essential anatomy for 10 systems (on Android), and 11 on iOS with more than 8,000 anatomical structures, including skeletal, muscles, connective tissue, veins, and so on.
In-app purchases allow users to download and access additional muscle and skeletal content, or purchase them as separate apps.
There's no consistency between the app versions for Android and iOS. While the iOS users can purchase Essential Anatomy 5 for $29.99, on Android, Essential Anatomy is still version 3 available for little more than $10.
The Anatomy Learning 3D Atlas is a medical app for medical students, residents, and physicians helping them visualize different parts of the human anatomy in 3-D models.
The app requires a continuous Internet connection because all content is online, and up to 1GB of cached data, so be sure to use an external SD card for data storage if your device doesn't contain enough space.
The app is available on Android and as a web app, not on iPhone or iPad.
Our score: 91%
The BioDigital Human app features a library of amazing 3D maps of the human body, all rendered in real time. Users can easily explore anatomically correct maps, by zooming and rotating body parts and organs and dissecting them virtually.
The app is free to download and use, with the option to buy one of the premium packages that unlock additional models.
The free version of the app allows users to access more than 1,000 anatomy models, along with editing tools but is limited regarding availability some medical conditions.
Premium version available at a price ranging from $9.99/year to $39.99/year, contains more than 5,000 models, along with advanced tools for authoring and embedding.
BioDigital Human app can be used in a web browser or on a mobile phone.
Visual Anatomy Lite for iPhone (or Free for Android), is an interactive education and reference tool that provides users with high-resolution 3D illustrations of the human body, along with the quiz feature they could use to test their anatomy knowledge.
The app is free to download and use, but additional images and feature points can be purchased for $2.99.
The Lite (Free) version of the app contains 130 images and more than 350 feature points that can be interactively selected, while the paid version contains more than 500 high-resolution images (plus 141 single muscle images) and more than 850 feature points.
The paid version of Visual Anatomy app also includes audio, muscle action videos, more quizzes, and full Gray's anatomy. However, before the users decide to purchase the full version, they could try the free version that also offers a quite bit of useful anatomy resources.
Teach Me Anatomy App
Teach Me Anatomy is not as the rest of anatomy apps on this list. Is not an interactive library of 3-D models, but rather a comprehensive, easy to read anatomy reference that contains more than 250 articles, high-yield clinical pearls, over 800 illustrations, and quizzes to test the anatomy knowledge.
The app is available for free on Android, while iOS users need to pay to use it. We're not sure why.
Anatomy & Physiology REVEALED App
The title of this article owes much to this app. Anatomy & Physiology REVEALED is a completely interactive app that enables users to practice on a virtual cadaver. It blends real cadaver photos that users can 'peel back' layer after layer, as if they were working on an actual cadaver, to reveal more than 5,000 anatomical structures.
A total of five modules is available in the app, including different body systems. Each module is available for $12.99, but users can purchase all for $49.99.
This may seem pricey, especially for students, but the app is a unique dissection experience and probably one of the best anatomy apps around.
Virtual Human Body App
Virtual Human Body is probably the lightest anatomy app with 'only' around 200MB data to download. Of course, it requires an Internet connection, but only to get files from the server, not to use them.
Virtual Human Body app includes 11 systems of the human body shown on a lifelike model. There are over 1000 anatomical structures named and defined, as well as an anatomical dictionary with a search engine.
The app features three view modes, including model only, a model with red markers, and model with the overlapping window that allows users to overlap two systems so as to better visualize the interrelations between bones, muscles, and organs.
The app is available for $3.88 on Android and $4.99 on iOS.
Human Anatomy Atlas 2017 App
Human Anatomy Atlas is one of the most comprehensive anatomy apps that includes an amazing amount of content (almost 1GB of data), such as 3D models, including moving models of muscles and bones, cross section models, cadaver images, MRI scans, physiology animations, and more.
The app is regularly updated. The current edition is 2017, which is available in 7 languages. The app can be used on Android, iPhone, and iPad after purchased for $24.99.