Netter's Apps review

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by .Andy, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. .Andy macrumors 68030


    Jul 18, 2004
    The Mergui Archipelago

    The ability to carry Netter's cards on the iPod Touch and iPhone have been long coming. Personally I'm a huge fan of Netter's drawings and they are my primary port of call before diving into photographic atlases, dissection pots, or cadavers. I own the physical versions of both the anatomy and neuroscience cards and use them constantly for learning/teaching/revision. However carrying the printed cards tends to be inconvenient - there's too many to carry at once, they're heavy, relatively large, easily damaged, and inevitably they never seem to be on me when i've got 10 minutes to spare and feel enthused. As my touch is rarely far from my side the purchase of the Netter's Anatomy and Neuroscience apps are a very attractive prospect, even for a terribly broke student.

    Netter's Anatomy Flash Cards (44.3MB) 300 flash cards $AU47.99
    Netter's Neuroscience Flash Cards (50.1MB) 225 flash cards $AU47.99
    (incidentally these prices are similar to the RRP of the physical cards).

    Review Device
    iPod Touch 16GB, Version 2.0 (5A347)

    Netter's Anatomy Flash Cards covers;
    Head and Neck
    Back and Spinal cord
    Pelvis and Perineum
    Upper Limb
    Lower Limb

    Netter's Neuroscience Flash Cards Covers;
    Overview of the Nervous System (very extensive)
    Regional Neurosciences
    Systemic Neurosciences

    Both the Anatomy and Neuroscience Flash Card apps are very similar, so I'll combine my comments for the purpose of this review.

    On execution of the apps (which takes about 10 seconds to load) you are greeted with a contents page, which allows you to either navigate by choosing a system/section, or alternatively by searching an index. Both methods work as you'd expect with the index especially convenient, allowing you to quickly look up that muscle the consultant befuddled you with.

    The contents page that greets you.

    The index search is a great way to find that obscure structure.

    Overall the navigation is very simple. On choosing a category on the contents page you are presented with a deeper contents list of the individual anatomy cards (with a small preview picture). A quick tap brings them up instantaneously. The cards look wonderfully crisp on the screen, and you are able to pinch zoom in and out to get a closer view as required. When zoomed in you can navigate by tapping and dragging the card around to view areas outside the boundary of the screen, much as you would google maps. The similarity with google maps is taken one step further, with each card being tagged with 'pins' as per a map location. The pins can be toggled on or off, and tapping a specific pin brings up the name of the tagged anatomical structure. It's very convenient and much better than the physical card method of flipping the card over to identify numbered structures - whilst taking care not to catch a glimpse of the answers to other numbers! Furthermore you can tap on the named pin and bring up a secondary screen, which presents you with all the other cards on which the same structure appears, as well as the option to carry out a google search of the structure. Very handy and it makes me giddy with delight how cool technology assists in learning.

    You can see other cards that a specific structure appears in, as well as googling for further information.

    Probably one of the biggest bonuses of the Apps is the ability to run a quiz. The quiz will randomly ask you to identify a structure (see image below), and you need to tap on the corresponding pin. If you get it right you get a nice green tick, get it wrong and you're faced with a nasty red cross. I've found this a very quick and efficient way to study (and what ultimately sold me on getting the Neuroscience Flash Cards App as well). The quizzes are restricted to a specific card which is a little disappointing. I would have liked the option to do a larger quiz of random cards - perhaps this could be included in a later revision.


    Each card also has the 'info' option, tapping which brings up a brief explanation of the structures and/or a brief physiology lesson. These are the same as the physical cards and of varying interest.

    The Apps are relatively simple although broad in scope and of good quality (although I have found a spelling mistake!). They perfectly demonstrate the potential of Apple's handheld portable devices and touch technology as a useful learning tool. Overall in the short amount of time I've been using the cards I've found them to be a very useful way to learn/revise, and being able to have over 500 anatomy cards with me constantly should be very useful. Even if you have the physical cards already, the convenience combined with the ability to quiz yourself should be enough reason alone to consider a purchase for anatomy/neuroscience students.

    disclaimer - I have no affiliation whatsoever with the copyright holders/developers of Netter's Flash Cards. The copyright to all images are owned by Modality Inc and Saunders/Elsevier Inc. I'm currently a medical student at the pointy end of my degree who struggles with anatomy and is a technology wanker :).
  2. Dizle macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2008
    The Beach
    Thank you for the review even though its from July! I will be buying this app soon to aid me in college anatomy.
  3. bluesTank macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2008
    I have the netter's set and I wish I had bought the paper set.

    Only nice thing is the search function, all the other features are worthless. It's also $5 cheaper to buy the cards in paper NEW, or even cheaper if you buy them used, or at discount somewhere.

    Paper cards have the advantage of being able to sort them out like you want them, as well as easily being able to set aside ones you don't want to use. The quiz function is stupid, as most cards only have 1-2 pins in them in the first place. Also, typically medical students need to be able to recall structures from memory, without being presented with the word.

    Also, every time I quit, or get interrupted I have to find where I was again, very annoying.
  4. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    Just imagine dissecting your cadaver with your iPhone in-hand, getting all greasy...
  5. Dr.BH macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2009
    I bought Netter's and yes I agree it is a little steep, but I found an anywhere anytime reference tool is perfect for learning.

    However I found a new app that is more focused, detailed and cheaper, Skeletal System Plus. Covers every detail of skeletal anatomy. Although should have included the musculature.
  6. mrbass macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2008

Share This Page