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Where did the idea for the app come from?
The idea for Pocket Body came about while getting to know, understand and observe how medical students, healthcare professionals, and the general public learn, communicate and visualize the complexities of the human body.
Our team’s background and experience stems from multimedia design and development for university schools of medicine, private medical companies and hospitals. With the emergence of the iOS, it was a nice next step for us to migrate from creating detailed 3D animations and web-based medical eLearning courseware for our healthcare clients, to publishing our own unique suite of mobile medical education apps.
How many developers worked on the app?
In addition to the core team of developers at the company’s headquarters in the Innovation and Business Centre, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Pocket Body has been co-developed by medical students for medical students, and this project has only been possible with the unique combination of exceptionally talented, and multidisciplinary team members.
Founder & creative director of 3D medical multimedia company eMedia, Mark Campbell is an experienced user-centered designer with a passion for interactive educational multimedia design, and design-lead innovation in medical education. Mark has developed Pocket Body together with his talented and eclectic team of medical practitioners and educators, software developers, 3D artists, pedagogical and instructional designers, as well as user interface designers.
Will the app be on other platforms?
One of our objectives for the New Year is to look into the benefits of developing for web and other mobile platforms.
What are the future plans for the app?
Our unique mix of pedagogy, medical expertise, software development and user-centered design works really well for us, as it allows us to build in the individual feedback we receive into our user-centered design and agile software development processes.
We are in a growth stage right now, and our major challenge is to continue to make advancements, while maintaining our creative dynamic and user-centered spirit. We also want to continue to work with our community of users in developing first-class medical education software…but these are nice challenges to have.
In our opinion the introduction of game-based learning, gamification techniques, and social learning technologies into the medical education sphere is where things are going. We want to be there too, as that’s where we see medical education moving towards in the coming years.
We love what we do and if we can still get the same satisfaction out of what we do in 3 years’ time, as a creative company, punching above our weight, building beautiful and meaningful medical education apps, then great!
What sets your app apart from the others out there?
We see ourselves as being different in that we co-develop with medical students and professionals for medical students and professionals. In the creation of Pocket Body, we deliberately set out to engage with our primary audience – the medical student. We worked with groups of medical students to show us how they currently learn anatomy and what resources they use (i.e. flash cards, study notes, highlighter pens, video, cadaver lab notes, online quizzes, as well as existing web and mobile apps.) We discussed the positive and negative aspects across each resource and wondered, “…how can we bring about something meaningful and beautiful, that will compliment these learning behaviors, and create a powerfully engaging learning experience using this new iOS technology?”
The validation process began in 2009 with our continued close relationships with local and US-based medical students and professionals, and has continued through the daily feedback we receive, enabling us to push out meaningful updates to our community of users worldwide. In 16 months, this community has benefited from nine major updates to our Pocket Body app, with 90% of these changes emanating from medical practitioners’ and students’ feedback and suggestions. With each update freely available, it’s a “win-win” for all concerned. Many of our new users hear about us through word-of-mouth from existing users who are pleased to see us responding to the community’s collective needs.
How did the company come together?
Pocket Anatomy (the Interactive Human Body), created in 2009 by eMedia Interactive Ltd, is a range of medical education software applications to assist medical students, healthcare professionals, and the general public in visualizing 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 tools when meeting and explaining diagnoses and conditions to patients and their families.
Pocket Body is a fully searchable interactive atlas of the human anatomy, which allows the busy medical and nursing student or healthcare 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.
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.”
What can we expect next from your talented team?
The team at Pocket Anatomy are currently working on some new and exciting medical applications which we intend to launch starting in Spring 2012. Our community of Pocket Anatomy app users worldwide are incredibly important to us and we are really grateful for their continued support, feedback and suggestions that enable us to create, develop and continuously update our suite of apps to meet their needs and requirements.
Pro: The app does just what it says it will do. To the point,easy to use and reliable. The interface is clean and easy to use. Works very well with an Apple TV and mirroring feature of iOS 5.
Con: It would be nice to have a voice over or video for the graphics.
Aye/Nay: This is a Aye. This program is going after a very niche market. Medical students and healthcare professionals. They state its for the general public to learn as well but in my option, it’s way too much information for non medical minded person. It’s good for Med Students and professional. $29 is worth it.
iTunes Link: Pocket Anatomy