This should not be construed as medical advice. I am a retired Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.Pocket Body (iPad and iPhone)
is an Anatomy application. A human body drawing featuring 9 layers that you can scroll through and view. There is 360 degree rotation along the vertical axis only. You can zoom in and out for a detailed look. The full body view zooms out to about 2/3 of the body.
A layer slider builds or subtracts layers. Your only option had been to scroll through the layers as the slider moves. New versions now include just having one layer turned on: Circulatory System or Lymphatic. The end two layers from the slider are skin and bone. Other than that, the reveal or hide are limited to the linear progression set by the slider.
Other views include a Cranial View or Plantar view which have limited application as your view is stuck at the top or bottom of the body. You cannot scroll up or down the body to see this view from inside.
Once you get beyond the skin, pins describe anatomic features. Each pin can contain
Notes where the user can write notes.
The clinical component is the weakest of the applications features.
All content is on the application, limiting its power not using linking to offer a better user experience. While there is an advantage of not needing the Internet to supply the content, the user is severely limited to what connectivity could offer in both video, animation, and clinical details beyond the applications very limited offerings.
Looking at the abdomen:
then compare to this clinical application of my Anatomy of a Tummy Tuck
. A clinical link option to that page would open up the issues of what happens to the structures when loose after pregnancy or weight loss and how surgery can repair the structures.
A pin menu permits selecting what layers pins show and permit the user to add a new pin. There is a quiz (also limited), and search for pin / glossary, and share options on both versions. Sharing can be of screen shots or pins / notes created.
The interface is different iphone vs ipad. The Ipad offers a drawing layer of value when teaching or discussing issues with others. A position option and rotation tools are highlighted on full body view, lymphatic, and circulation. The position tool would be nice to have on the plantar or cranial view to look at this view inside the body. The ipad help option labels each icon, nice when starting out.
The price is $19.99. Compare this to more conventional anatomy textbooks: Search Amazon for Anatomy Textbooks
What this app offers is picking your own view perspective and seeing the 3d aspect. What is lacks is the additional details offered by the anatomy textbook. There is just not enough detail in this app for surgical or detailed clinical use such as understanding flaps or surgical options. But as a pull out of the pocket discussion tool for patient education, it can have some possible use. For an introduction to anatomy, this does nicely. But do not expect the details to see details needed for surgery.
If a larger version would have clinical anatomy such as for our various cutaneous or musculocutaneous flap anatomy, and we could see the 3d relationships with more sophisticated navigation, that would have been so much easier to learn from for a surgeon, but too much detail for the average person trying to understand basic anatomy.
I have enjoyed browsing through the applications on both the iphone and ipad and look forward to their continued evolution of the app.
Hope this helps,
Michael Bermant, MD
Retired Plastic SurgeonLearn More About Plastic Surgery