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Essential Anatomy is the future of touch-based anatomy learning

Essential Anatomy is the future of touch-based anatomy learning
Michael Grothaus
Michael Grothaus|@michaelgrothaus|February 13, 2013 2:30 PM

If you've read a lot of my articles over the years you may have picked up that I'm a bit of a human anatomy buff. Yeah, that sounds weird, I know. Some people like understanding their cars and computers better, I like understanding my body. And it's thanks to the iPad that the study of human anatomy has never been easier, or more interactive. There are several nice anatomy apps available for the iPad, but I've been testing one for the last few weeks that makes its predecessors feel as cold and dead as a cadaver. That app is Essential Anatomy by 3D4Medical.

I've written about 3D4Medical's apps before. The company was groundbreaking from the start. I even predicted that it was so revolutionary that one of its apps would appear in an Apple commercial. And then it did. However, no matter how good their previous apps were, 3d4Medical's new Essential Anatomy app surpasses them in every way possible.

That's because the company spent the last 18 months building a proprietary graphics engine designed specifically for the iPad. The graphics engine enables real-time rendering of the most highly detailed 3D anatomy structures ever seen on a tablet. Using the app on my fourth generation iPad, I'm able to interact with the anatomic structure with zero rendering or lag time. Fading or hiding certain muscles or other structures happens instantaneously. And the details of the structures themselves will blow you away.

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Besides the new graphics engine and completely new 3D structures, Essential Anatomy offers correct audio pronunciation for every structure in the model, 3D models of most major systems (including muscles, nerves, arteries and veins), an incredibly easy-to-navigate -- yet comprehensive -- UI, and a number of learning features including Latin nomenclature for each anatomic structure, quizzes, the ability to take notes and a number of sharing options.

Like their previous apps, Essential Anatomy is an app every doctor, physiotherapist, OT, nurse and medical student should own. I'm also certain it's an app that will soon be required material at medical schools. Using the scalpel tool users can easily remove muscles individually or layer-by-layer and turn on or off arterial, venous and nervous systems. The touch-based navigation and zooming features allow users to see anatomical structures from any angle they want.

Make no mistake about it: Essential Anatomy by 3D4Medical is the future of touch-based anatomy learning.

The app itself won't be live in the App Store until tomorrow. Until then you can check out the gallery below. Essential Anatomy will cost US$29.99 and is compatible with the iPad 2 or later. It also requires iOS 6 or later. Once it goes live, you'll be able to download it here.


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Essential Anatomy is the future of touch-based anatomy learning