Notes from the Clinic: Blausen Human Atlas App

By Brian Dolan

Quite simply, we found the videos available in the Human Atlas to be brilliant. Our colleagues and patients thought the same thing as well. Patients enjoyed the 3D animation and the simple explanations. The videos were successfully able to explain conditions such as GERD, osteoarthritis, and others to our patients. They are aesthetically pleasing and explain medical conditions in a laypersons' terms. Eventually we would like to see an option for Spanish explanations to the videos. This would be invaluable because of the increasing Hispanic population.

The videos are especially useful for specialists who need to explain complex and simple concepts. An example of this is in the cancer video section, where there are videos explaining Cyberknife Radiosurgery and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), but also great videos explaining less complex concepts, such as chemotherapy and biopsy procedures.

What we like about this App:

* A vast library of medical information
* Aesthetically pleasing 3D animation videos do a fantastic job of explaining medical conditions and procedures in laypersons' terms to patients.
* Patients enjoy looking and listening to the concise videos.
* Pictures are very functional and show different pathologies
* The glossary contains definitions for procedures as well as basic medical terms.
* Every major specialty is targeted (cancer, circulatory, digestive, ear, endocrine, eye, immune, muscular, nervous, pediatric, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal, skin, and urinary)

What we don't like as much, and improvements that could be made:

* Stand Alone videos. Our main concern is the inability to use this application without an Internet connection. WiFi, 3G, or EDGE are required to view the videos, pictures, and glossary. The advantage of streaming this information is you save storage space on your device, but we feel this application is too powerful and good to have this limitation. It's worth sacrificing 200 or more megabytes of space on your phone.
* The ability to have a video explained in Spanish.
* Ability to bookmark images or videos used most often, or even making a playlist of videos for a certain type of patient.
* Currently the option to buy more detailed individual atlases does not work.

Who this application would be great for:

* Every healthcare provider could find a use for this application. Primary care providers could use the videos and images to explain more commonplace conditions, such as GERD, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and more. Specialists and Surgeons could use the videos and images to explain complex procedures such as heart bypass surgery, Angiography, Roux-en-Y Gastric surgery, and more. Pediatricians can use this application to show parents the mechanism of allergies and how ear infections occur. With the vast amount of information available, almost every provider can find some way to use this application.
* Note, The application's full features can only be used with an Internet connection (WiFi, 3g, or EDGE).


Iltifat Husain

Iltifat Husain

After a few days of using the 2.0 version of the Blausen Human Atlas application, we feel it's a must have for healthcare providers and well worth the $19.99 price tag, especially since it can be used on a daily basis. It's easy to use, provides an enormous amount of information, and most importantly, does a great job of helping you explain relevant medical information to patients through pictures and short concise videos. Often times, diagrams and posters in the patient's room are inadequate in explaining key concepts, but this application is the solution to this problem. The 3D video animation is what makes this a must have application. If used correctly, we feel the videos can not only be used to explain medical knowledge, but also help save time. The videos could be shown to patients while they are waiting to see their provider, enabling the patient to have a better understanding of the medical concept or procedure before the doctor even walks into the room. This would increase patient satisfaction as well, especially if your practice has long waiting times.


Yousif Alkadhi

As we mentioned above, our main complaint with this application is the inability to use it without an Internet connection. If you only have EDGE available the videos lag, which is not an ideal experience. Having the videos included in the application would increase the storage space required on your iPhone or iPod Touch, but the loss in storage space would be well worth it. If you have a WiFi connection or dedicated 3G connection in your health care setting, then this application is a must-have. We look forward to the future innovations that this application is likely to bring to the healthcare field.

Meet MobiHealthNews' newest contributors: Yousif Alkadhi, MD, PGY1 and Iltifat Husain, MD/MPH student, MS IV and founder of

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