Welcome to Pogue’s Rated:App series. Each week, I’ll install whatever is the No. 1 bestselling app on the iOS or Android store and review it, to save you the effort in case it’s a turkey!
Like most apps that hit No. 1, HAA is all about visuals; it gives you an interactive, incredibly detailed, medically accurate jaw-dropping 3-D view of the human body.
But unlike most apps that hit No. 1, I know why this app (which has been around for years) suddenly zoomed to the top of the list: It’s usual price is $25, but it went on “super sale” this week for $1. (They haven’t decided when the sale will end.)
Human Anatomy Atlas 2018 is a gigantic, pretty complex app. It’ll eat up 1 gigabyte of space on your phone, and take you some time to learn. Neither of those points would be an obstacle to the app’s target audience: med students and health care pros.
But at $1, this app is suddenly attractive to a much broader range of people. It’s pretty stunning.
What it does
There are, as you may be aware, a number of different parts of the human body, so HAA 2018 offers several tabs that let you control how to begin your exploration:
- Regions. Head/neck, abdomen, pelvis, knee, etc.
- Systems. Skeleton, circulatory, nervous, respiratory, muscular, digestive, reproductive, etc.
- Gross Anatomy Lab. By “gross,” they don’t mean “disgusting” here; they mean “general,” as in “general anatomy.” Here, the app presents a digital corpse lying before you; you can turn it, flip it, or zoom into it.
- Cross sections. Here, you get slices (they look like MRI scans) — of the head, thorax, abdomen, or pelvis, from various angles.
- Microanatomy. This tab offers close-up views of individual structures like the eyeball, tongue, and hair follicles.
- Augmented reality. Here’s the best part, newly added to the Android version of the app (and already part of the iOS version): You can place your virtual corpse onto an actual table (or floor, or desk, or bed) in front of you, and walk around it, using your phone as a viewer. You can even push the phone inside the body, flying through it. It’s freaky and beautifully done and absolutely astonishing — and unbelievably useful, I’d think, to med students.
In all of these views, you can tap a body part to dissect it, peeling away layers to see what’s underneath. It’s the cleanest, clearest, least stinky way to take apart a cadaver.
You can also tap a body part to read all about it, or hear its name pronounced.
There are also 128 quizzes, a testament to the app’s academic purposes. For example, you’re shown an illustration of the leg and asked to tap “the fifth metatarsal.”</p><p class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Also on tap: Short videos (showing how muscles, joints, cells, organs, systems, and diseases work). Note, though, that you get only on