Visible Body Atlas 2018 and frankly, all their A&P apps have always been my go-to reference for exploring the human body and its function. The major update of Visible Body Atlas from 2017 to 2018 is a must-have for all students, Health Care Professionals, and others that are interested in learning about life sciences. If you already own the 2017 Body Atlas, the update is free which is very generous on the part of the developer considering its new content. In the new edition, Visible Body has added in an Augmentative Reality feature in viewing the various systems and their interrelationships that is groundbreaking and will prove to make a positive impact in how we study and can learn from 3-dimensional structures. It is simply breath-taking in its accuracy and detail. Imagine being in an anatomy lab and being able to view a structure from any plane. As a clinician, being able to view the systems in their entirety and through its component parts promotes understanding in how the body works in a synchronous manner. In addition, seeing how the body moves on such a detailed level, may give valuable insight into what is obscuring someone’s sense of well-being – and that is why we do what we do – to help others in distress.
All the controls and features of the 2017 atlas are available on opening so that navigation is a snap. In the visual table of contents, one can search for a specific anatomical model or topic in the search box. Standard iPad gestures of zooming in and out, panning, and rotating for view can be assessed on all models. Each item is tagged and can be faded or dissected for a view of the structures underneath. Drawing or marking on a model can be done right on the iPad and saved as well as adding a note for future reference or teaching. Tapping on a featured photo brings up the name (with optional voiced pronunciation), a short description, and potential diagnoses related to that part of the body.
Under views includes 3D photos and videos. As vision is the most dominant sense for most people, seeing the video content, helps in retention of information. There is also a section for saving any custom content that you may want to refer to later.
- Anatomical Regions
- Body Systems
- Gross Anatomy Labs – this is where AR comes to life
- Cross Sections – which can then be compared to MRIs with anatomical markers
- Muscle Actions – are dynamic displays where you can view elongation and shortening of muscles as well as their impact on the skeletal system or the body as a whole. It is especially interesting to note how weight shifts are related to movement.
In addition to the animations, viewing MRI and cadaver scans give a detailed view. Both male and female views are represented. The ability to compare and contrast images of MRIs, cross sections and cadaver images is astounding. By portraying different points of view, both typical and atypical variations in anatomy, one can perceive the variances to being human and thereby treat an individual effectively.
The Media subheading holds a variety of both student and patient education videos describing system overviews and pathologies. There is an IAP for the complete set of videos, but if you do any patient teaching, it is worth a look.
Quizzes test your knowledge and are a fun challenge. There is also a section for saving any custom content that you may want to refer to later in Tours. Here one can save specific views so that they can be linked in a presentation. It is easy to annotate a slide by either drawing on it or laying down text in a note.
Visible Body Atlas is once again, an outstanding piece of work that will be a treasured reference for students and clinicians on the go. The ability to customize displays to view an anatomical structure from any plane, make notations on views, and the ability to draw on the anatomical structures for teaching are invaluable tools. To be able to manipulate a view in the Augmented Reality feature is well worth the cost of the app.