Anatomy can be tricky to learn and remember. The most important factor when it comes to learning anatomy is the visual aid. Seeing the organs or the structures either in the cadaver or in the images is essential for understanding and remembering anatomy in the best possible way. However, cadavers may not always be accessible and images do not give a 3D representation of the body part.
The role of a 3D anatomy app comes into play here— accessible any time of the day and in 3D form. It is like having a digital cadaver at your fingertips. Below are the best free and paid 3D anatomy apps available on the market today.
I have chosen these apps based on their ease of use, graphics, content quality, availability of models, availability on multiple platforms and other factors I mention in the article. Having experience with both studying cadavers in medical school and the creation of virtual 3D anatomy models, Im qualified to review 3D anatomy apps. Read on to learn why these are the best apps out there for 3D anatomy.
11 Best Paid And Free 3D Anatomy Apps Are:
- Essential Anatomy
- Skeleton | 3D Anatomy
- Human Anatomy Atlas
- Complete Anatomy
- 3D Anatomy
- 3D Anatomy Learning
- 3D Bones and Organs
- BioDigital Human— 3D Anatomy
- Teach Me Anatomy
- Anatomyka- 3D Anatomy Atlas
- Anatomy and Physiology
I’ll explore these apps in detail, but first let’s see what to look for in an anatomy app.
What To Look For In An Anatomy App
Anatomy can be a little complicated, confusing, and at times difficult to memorise if not seen in either a cadaver or a specimen/sample/model. Here comes the role of a 3D anatomy app which can be accessed anytime and can be carried on the phone or tablet.
While 2D images are helpful, in the 21st century, an ideal anatomy app should have a 3D model of the organs and the structures (with proper labelling) which allows the user to see the anatomy from multiple perspectives. A 3D model will also allow the user to see the relations of the organ/structure under study. In addition to having a 3D model, 3D apps should also have the function of being able to dissect/remove the overlying muscles, bones, and organs to see the underlying structures.
Studying body parts in correlation with the surrounding structures makes it easier to understand and remember. Seeing things is always the best way to study anatomy.
Any feature more than this— like quizzes, articles, animations— would be a great addition.
Benefits Of Paid Apps Vs Free Apps
There are a variety of 3D anatomy apps available in the app stores. Some of them are free, some are paid, and some offer both free and paid versions. There are pros and cons of both paid and free apps.
The most important pro of a free app is that it’s free! But quite frequently the quality may be inferior to paid apps— although this may not be true for all free apps. It’s also likely that the free apps may not have all the systems of the body covered or in great detail. But free apps are a great place start for those who will be trying out anatomy apps for the first time.
The con of a paid app is that they are paid, but paid 3D anatomy apps would be a great investment for anyone who needs to know anatomy well. Paid apps usually contain every body system and in much more detail. There are also other additional features included in paid apps like quizzes, illustrations, articles, and animations that would make learning even more fun and easy.
Certain apps allow both free and paid versions of the same app. The free version usually comes with limited open systems/organs and the paid version gives full access to the app. A free version is a great place to explore the app and to see if the app contains everything that you are looking for, before buying the app for the full version.
Best 3D Anatomy Apps
1. Essential Anatomy
Essential anatomy is one of the most popular anatomy apps out there. It is not free, however, it covers organs and structures in great detail. The app covers 4100 anatomical structures and 11 systems, including the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, digestive system, musculoskeletal system, connective tissues, nervous system, urogenital system, and skin.
The 3D model can be rotated and can be studied in detail in layers as the app allows the user to strip the various layers of the muscles and other structures. Additionally, structures can be seen in their anatomical position, as well as in isolation to look for the details more closely.
There are different 3D models for the male and female bodies, and therefore the gender-specific differences can be studied well.
There is also an option to take a quiz where you can test your knowledge.
I found this app to be comprehensive and easy to use. It runs smoothly and the graphics are very well done. It is very user friendly. It can be used for many things, from studying in school to physical therapy, healthcare professions, for your patients or even a gym. It allows you to see individual bones and isolate them.
You can follow this video to see how you can get started with this app:
2. Skeleton | 3D Anatomy
This app only deals with the skeletal system and is available in both free and paid versions.
It allows studying the bones individually as well as in the anatomical position. This app would be a great option for someone who is only looking for an app to study only the skeletal system and doesn’t want to invest in any complete anatomy app.
We found this app to be very good for the skeleton, with a useful pin feature and isolated bone studies in addition to the bones looking very realistic with detailed features. It is easy to use. It can be useful for nursing students, gross anatomy, medical students. Its great for drawing skeleton references. It does not have annoying ads. Paying for the paid version is worth it.
Price: Free and paid
3. Human Anatomy Atlas by Visible Body
This is a paid app as well, but again, a popular 3D anatomy app covering anatomical structures in great detail.
In addition to the 3D models, there are also cadaveric images as well as diagnostic images to correlate the information. Additionally, there are also 126 histology slides which will future help the user understand the anatomy of various cells at the microscopic level.
This app also allows for studying the structures layer by layer and includes gender differences.
The movement of bones and muscles can also be seen in real-time.
This app also allows the user to dissect models on screen, and prepare a presentation that can be shared with others.
I found it to be very good. Its a useful app for both students and teachers.
4. Complete Anatomy by 3D4Medical
This is yet another popular 3D anatomy app that allows users to study anatomical structures layer by layer.
This also includes gender-specific differences and some other additional features like real-time movements and functions, like an animation of a beating heart. The cross-sections of the structures can be studied.
There are additional courses within the app covering abdominal dissection and female anatomy.
Another important feature of this app is that the radiological images are also available alongside the anatomical structure— making it easy to correlate. There are also more than 1500 clinical videos and cadaver images that will help the user apply the learned anatomy in actual cases.
This app is available in English, Spanish, French, German, and Chinese, and it has a 3-day free trial available to test the app.
I found this app to make visualizing anatomy simple and effective. It is a great anatomy reference. The different systems and radiology imaging combine to help you memorize the content. It is good both for teaching and learning anatomy. While it has a bit of a learning curve, it is well worth it.
Price: Free trial and paid
Follow this video to see how you can get started with this app:
5. 3D Anatomy
3D Anatomy is a relatively cheaper alternative when compared to most paid apps.
This app also allows users to rotate the structures to any angle. Structures can be seen in the anatomical position and can be removed to see the underlying structures.
Separate male and female reproductive system models are available, along with more than 100 real-time muscle movements, quizzes, and audio pronunciations of the names of the structures.
This app covers the skeletal system, ligaments, nervous system, cardiovascular system, bones, and their markings, muscles (145 detailed muscle models), respiratory system, urinary system, and ear.
Despite the low cost, I like this app. It is easy to navigate on tablet or phone and is adequate for anyone needing to learn about their body or an artist. It can be used as an anatomy reference or to discuss anatomy with clients.
Supported in: iOS, Android
6. 3D Anatomy Learning
This app is yet another great addition to this list especially because this app is free. However, the systems that come unlocked in the free version are limited.
The free version has bones and joints of the head and neck, trunk, lower limb, certain parts of the cardiovascular system, muscles of a certain part, and eyes in the sensory system. The rest of the systems come locked which can be unlocked after upgrading. The free parts give a good point to get started and explore the app a little bit before upgrading.
The app also allows you to rotate the structures and zoom in and zoom out. Structures can be eliminated to expose the underlying structures. Quizzes are also available to test the knowledge.
This app is available in English, Spanish, German, French, Polish, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese.
I think despite it being free its great for visualizing in 3D what you cannot see in textbooks.
Free— limited features
In purchases available to unlock other features
Supported in: IOS
7. 3D Bones and Organs by Education Mobile
This app is great for people with a low budget, as this app is free. It covers all the bones and all the organs.
Just like the other apps, this also allows users to rotate and zoom in and out. You can also dissect the layers of the various structures and eliminate the structures to reveal the underlying structures. It also allows the user to take quizzes and bookmark information.
It has the audio pronunciation of all the bones and supports German, Spanish, and French other than English.
This app includes the 3D skeletal system, ligaments, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, muscles, nervous system, reproductive system, urinary system, and ear.
I like the fact that its detailed and easy to use. Just dont expect the quality or features of an expensive anatomy app. The quiz mode is useful.
no in-app purchases
Supported in: Android.
8. BioDigital Human— 3D Anatomy
This anatomy 3D app is available in both free and paid versions. In addition to the 3D anatomical models, this app also covers physiology, medical conditions associated, and relevant treatment, making it a good app for medical students.
The free version of this app provides 10 model views each month. Users can also store up to 5 models in the library. The paid version gives unrestricted access to the whole of the app.
There are 700 3D models, covering all the systems. The content is divided based on the systems (cardiovascular, respiratory, etc), as well as based on specialty (allergy, cardiology, dentistry, nephrology, etc). This makes navigation in the app easy. The app allows yearly subscriptions with an auto-renewal option.
It is available in 8 different languages.
I like this app, it looks like it would be helpful for surgery planning. Graphics are great and diseases and pathology are a welcome extra not included in many apps. The dissect feature is unique.
Price: Free and Paid
Follow this video to peek inside the app:
9. Teach Me Anatomy: 3D Human Body
Teach Me Anatomy is another great option for medical students as this app covers 3D anatomy along with clinical integration. This app can also be downloaded for free, but in-app purchases are available to access the app completely.
There are 3D anatomical models, a question bank, >1700 quiz questions, >400 articles covering anatomy, and even >1200 images and HD illustrations.
The app covers all systems and specialties. The app covers both systemic anatomies as well as regional anatomy (head and neck, neuroanatomy, etc).
I like the fact that it can be accessed offline. This app is like a textbook in a digital format so it includes images and diagrams. The quizzes are helpful.
Price: Free and Paid
10. Anatomyka- 3D Anatomy Atlas
Available as a free and paid option, this app is yet another great app to study anatomy. They offer a 5-day free trial as well.
The free version of the app includes the skeletal system and general anatomy of more than 80 body parts and regions. There are also audio pronunciation and classification of the bones available.
There are some special features in this app, like the different styles (classic atlas, dark atlas, etc), and the ability to set specific colors for the organs and other structures as per choice. Users can also put labels and highlights.
I like the quality of the graphics and the amount of features of this app. The landmark feature is great. This is one top notch 3D anatomy app.
Price: Free and paid
11. Anatomy and Physiology by Visible Body
This android app covers every system with the help of 3D models, illustrations, animations, and quizzes on anatomy and physiology.
3D models can be viewed from any angle, and various processes can be understood easily with the help of animations. There are 12 units, 50 modules, more than 500 3D views of models, and more than 150 illustrations and animations.
This app also covers definitions and audio pronunciations. It also allows users to create flashcards, bookmark, and track their progress.
I like the fact that this app teaches you both anatomy and physiology. The videos and quizzes are useful. The graphics and content are impressive.
Supported in: Android
What to Remember When Choosing
Choosing a 3D anatomy app can be very subjective, as different learners may have different requirements and learning styles. This is why exploring various apps is important, to know what’s best for you.
It is always a good idea to try the free version of the app before buying the full version so that you can see if the app offers everything that you are looking for. Many paid apps also have a free trial period, which should be used to explore the app as well.
Click on the following link to see my list of the best interactive biology games.