Thanks to Mike Kaltschnee for telling me about Muscle System Pro II. This is a very compelling iPad app that I am sure will one day appear in an iPad TV commercial. Muscle System Pro II is an interactive learning tool that allows the user to completely explore the muscular anatomy of the human body. It uses photorealistic 3D models that you can select, view, rotate, explore, and learn about. You can strip away muscle layer by layer, and view the underlying skeletal structure. You can look up 433 of the major muscles in the human body. With the normal iPad finger swipes, you can rotate any part of the human body model and see its anterior, superior, inferior or lateral views. Zooming in on a specific muscle reveals the direction the muscle and fascia fibers are running. If you want to learn more about a particular muscle, just tap on a graphical flag on the muscle and a pop-up shows the muscle’s name, its origin, and what it does. You can even add a note to the muscle to record your thoughts or comments about it. One physician I showed Muscle System Pro to said he would have had much better grades if he had this tool in medical school!
While most iPad apps cost a few dollars or less, Muscle System Pro II is $39.99. Micahel Grothause said in his blog that “this isn’t your run of the mill app”. In his review, he called it “a 3D powerhouse of interactive anatomy that every doctor, chiropractor, nurse practitioner and massage therapist should own, not to mention every medical student or anyone interested in human anatomy.” That covers a really big market segment. He adds that when you use an app like this, it’s easy to tell that tablet computers are not just the future of consumer computing, but of learning and medical reference as well. I agree. I can imagine an orthopaedic surgeon using this in their office to describe your knee pain to you instead of the plastic models of old. The app could be a great bedside aid for a physician to explain to a patient why they hurt where they hurt and what exact intervention is proposed to make things better.