Pocket Anatomy

MEDEA Special Jury Award Winner

MEDEA Special Jury Award Winner 2010

Pocket Anatomy (the Interactive Human Body), created in 2009 by eMedia (Ireland), is a range of medical education software applications to assist medical students, healthcare professionals, and the general public in visualising the complexities of the human body in a novel format. The first two products in this suite of medical education resources include “Pocket Heart” and “Pocket Body”.

Originally created to help anatomy and biology students study and understand the inner workings of the human body in a more fun and engaging way, these Pocket Anatomy learning tools are also popular amongst doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals as communications aids when meeting and explaining diagnoses and conditions to patients and their families.

The showcase video of Pocket Anatomy, including an interview with Marc Campbell

Pocket Heart is a novel way to visualize how the human heart works, in 3D. Whether you’re a student needing to learn, understand and memorize all of the anatomical features and functions of the heart, or a health care professional looking for a new way of communicating a diagnosis or procedure to a patient, colleague or trainee, Pocket Heart’s unique 3D interface can facilitate this.

Pocket Body is a fully searchable interactive atlas of the human anatomy, which allows the busy medical and nursing student or allied health care professional to visualise the human musculoskeletal system through the use of interactive high definition illustrations of the human body. This software features a fully anatomically accurate human character with nine layers of musculoskeletal content, enabling the user to navigate from the skin layer through the superficial to deep musculature, and on through to ligaments and the skeleton. In each layer, structures are pinned for identification and associated with each pin is additional concise relevant information including clinical notes. All of the information is presented in an interactive, mobile and accessible format which takes full use of the features of the device on which the app runs (iPhone, iPad or iTouch). This is a marked contrast with the two-dimensional (2D) printed pictures and diagrams commonly used in the teaching of advanced human anatomy today. Additional features allow the user to make learning notes as they progress through the learning content, and also utilize the built-in quizzes as a self-test capability to assist in their learning and exam preparation.

Pocket Body will assist medical and other health care students gain a deep understanding of human musculoskeletal anatomy and assist in their examination preparation. Also, by making comprehensive human musculoskeletal anatomy content available on demand it will act as a continuing anatomy resource throughout their degree programme, and as a reference on into the professional workplace.

What the judges said about this entry

Pocket Anatomy was described by the judges as an excellent self learning instrument for the acquisition of medical content showing how high-quality learning content can be combined with the right tools to enable learners achieve clear learning goals. The judges particularly appreciated the excellent visualisation and animation used in this entry as well as the opportunity it provided to manipulate learning objects and how they could be viewed from different angles.

Support aspects like the quizzes and the option of labels were found to be pedagogically sound and very useful. The judges really liked the simple, informative and clean lines of this application which includes only necessary graphics and the fact that the different animations can be switched on and off separately. They also thought that an application like this could also be used in the wider medical context with one judge looking forward to the day when his GP might use such a tool to demonstrate what was wrong with him using this application!

About the creation of Pocket Anatomy

Mark Campbell, founder and creative director of eMedia, on the Pocket Anatomy range: “We are delighted with the outcome of the Pocket Anatomy project to date - software that is being nicknamed the Google Earth of the Human Body by many of its users.

As medical students and educators continue to embrace new technologies in their teaching and learning practices, Pocket Anatomy will continue to push the boundaries in the use of new technologies for the purposes of medical education.

We chose to create the Pocket Anatomy range of medical education tools as we are passionate about the use of 3D graphics and high-definition illustrations in the teaching of human anatomy and biology. These apps enable users to absorb interactive educational content at their own leisure wherever they are. The revolution of interactive mobile content allows the student to learn at their own pace and in a more engaging and immersive manner than when accessing static 2D learning content. The information is always at their fingertips and they can also test themselves through built-in quizzes, which are both educational and fun.”

About the Pocket Anatomy Team

Pocket Anatomy's creators, eMedia Interactive Ltd, develop applications to assist medical students, healthcare professionals, and the general public in visualizing the complexities of the human body in a novel format. PocketAnatomy.com was created in 2009 by Galway-based Interactive Media Design Company, eMedia Interactive Ltd., an award-winning Interactive Media Design Company, specializing in 3D medical animations and interactive technology enhanced learning and training resources for life science companies and medical training institutes.

In addition to this core team, these educational tools have been co-developed by medical students for medical students, and this project has only been possible with the unique combination of our exceptionally talented, and multidisciplinary team members.

Founder & creative director of 3D medical multimedia company eMedia, Mark Campbell is an experienced user-centred designer with a passion for interactive educational multimedia design, and design-lead innovation. Mark has developed Pocket Anatomy (the Interactive Human Body) together with his team members Brian Geaney, David Maher. In addition, Dr. Brendan Wilkins, an anatomy lecturer based in the NUI Galway’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences worked on the development of Pocket Body with a team of third and fourth year medical students (Robyn Concannon, John Duignan, Jacqueline Driscoll, Mark Gurney, and Paula Wrafter) and together they specified and wrote all of the content within the app (in excess of 30,000 words). Combined with the software design expertise of Pocket Anatomy, the result is an innovative and exciting app which will serve as a supplement to the lectures, classes and complementary texts used by the medical and health care student and provide a detailed source of human anatomical content, on demand, through the student’s own portable device.

Mark represented this entry at the MEDEA Awards Ceremony and talked about it in further detail during a presentation at the Media & Learning Conference 2010 Brussels.

Pocket Body trailer and free online version of Pocket Heart:

  • www.pocketanatomy.com (Pocket Body trailer under "Demo" tab and free web-based version of Pocket Heart under "Online" tab)