ABSTRACT: Complementing anatomy education using 3D anatomy mobile software applications on tablet computers
Anatomy has traditionally been a cornerstone of medical education, which has been taught via dissection and didactic lectures. The rising prevalence of mobile tablet technology means medical software applications (“apps”) play an increasingly important role in medical education. The applications highlighted in this article will aid anatomical educators to identify which are the most useful in clinical, academic, and educational environments. These have been systematically identified by downloading all applications with keywords related to anatomy and then carrying out qualitative assessment. Novel anatomy applications from developers such as Visible Body, 3D4Medical, and Pocket Anatomy allow students to visualize and manipulate complex anatomical structures using detailed 3D models. They often contain additional content including clinical correlations and a range of media from instructional videos to interactive quiz functions. The strength of tablet technology lies in its ability to consolidate and present anatomical information to the user in the most appropriate manner for their learning style. The only question mark remains over the level of detail and accuracy of these applications. Innovative medical educators who embrace tablet technology will find that anatomy applications serve as a useful learning tool when used in conjunction with existing teaching setups.