The use of electronic resources in education, including i- applications used on portable handheld devices, is increasing. Apple® handheld devices are popular, with free applications the most prevalent download form. Many gross anatomy i- applications are available, however no information on the quality of free anatomy products is available. Rating such products could therefore guide product recommendations.
To evaluate the quality and range of free iPod® applications that are applicable for tertiary level gross anatomy education.
A search of the iTunes® Application Store with keywords anatomy, free, medical, functional, clinical, gross, and human was performed, with inclusion based on free applications containing human gross anatomy usable for tertiary education purposes. Application specification was noted; each was trialled independently and rated for usability, specification, academic level, and quality (image and programme).
Sixty-three applications were identified and eleven met inclusion criteria. Two provided gross anatomy of the entire body, nine examined specific regions or systems. Five were judged introductory in academic level, five intermediate, and one advanced. One application was rated low quality, and four excellent. None were considered difficult to use (six easy, five medium). Application size ranged between 1.2MB and 229MB (mean 27MB).
There are few free i-applications for learning gross anatomy and most concentrate on individual body systems, with the academic level and usability of all products well rated. Results suggest some free I- applications could be suitable adjuncts for gross anatomy education at both an undergraduate and graduate level.