OrganGuyAnatomyTVI’ve had way too much fun grossing myself out with the Primal Pictures Interactive Anatomy database.  For students of Anatomy & Physiology, and anyone else seeing, or hoping to see, patients, this a superb resource for study and patient education.  For those fascinated with all that goes on in our bodies (the armchair scientists, like myself), this is the coolest thing outside a Medical Museum!

The contents of the resource are organized into six main categories: Systemic Anatomy, Sports & Therapy, Regional Anatomy, Primal Interactive Human, Specialty Titles, and Surgery.  It is sharp and detailed and does an excellent job of pairing the structure you’re focusing on to the functionality you need.  Primal Pictures covers Acupuncture therapy to Anatomy for Yoga, to Speech Language Pathology, to Podiatric Medicine, offering videos and stills of surgical procedures, demonstrations of movement using animations, and in some cases even cadavers.

I recommend taking some time to get to know the database.  Here are a few highlights from the main categories:

SystemicAnatomyExample,AnatTVSystemic Anatomy (pic. to the left) is basic.  By scrolling over categories, systems will appear on the body model in the center.  Click on any particular system and you can examine it more closely, layer-by-layer.


I got lost in Regional Anatomy for a while….Amazing stuff, but perhaps not the section you want to browse at, say, Starbucks–the person scoping out romance novels behind you might not be so into it.RegionalShoulderDissection,AnatTV  That said, all the really cool stuff is in this section.  It’s full of illustrated slides, MRI slides, dissection slides, and movies.  The section on The Hand is particularly good.  (I say this because it totally freaked me out.)


Primal Interactive Human and the 3D Real-time Body is really fun.  You can examine structures independently, you can hide selected areas to see behind them by clicking xray, and inspect layers by adding nerves, muscles or lymph nodes.  You can zoom with the control options and drag the structure around with your mouse 360°, up and down and side to side.  To demonstrate, here’s a little clip I took while playing with the Thorax:  Video3DThorax,AnatTV

Sports & Therapy has everything from Acupuncture to Resistance Training, and also includes information on Sports Injuries.  This entire section could be be useful visual aids when presenting information to students and patients.  The images can easily be added to a PowerPoint presentation.

YogaWheelFullScreen,AnatTVYogaWheelLayer2,AnatTV    YogoWheel,Layer3,AltView,AnatTV YogaWheelLayer4,Frame23,AnatTVYogaWheelLayer5,Frame23,AnatTV



The images above demonstrate the skeleton in a Yoga Wheel Pose.   For each image, I added a layer of muscle and adjusted the angle–you can rotate the image 360°.

The section titled Other Titles by Region contains a Regional Study guide that many students will find useful.

As far as slides and movies and step-by-step instructions go, the Specialty Titles category offers the same content as Surgery .  The information presented varies in format among the sub-categories; this is forgivable since the information is so good, but you may have to reorient yourself if you’re browsing through.  Dentistry and Speech Language Pathology students will find a lot of useful material here.  Here’s an animated demo of a smile:  VideoSpeechPathSmile,AnatTV

As you would assume, the Surgery section offers detailed instructions and embedded videos.  There are also slides and stills from surgery.

HomeScreen,AnatTVThe biggest drawback is Flash, which means it’s not mobile.  It’s fine on iPad if you want to read in the Surgery section, and you can do some things with adding and subtracting layers, but I find it very clunky.  It’s built for a desktop, where you can really interact with it.  It’s kind of a shame that you can’t take this resource anywhere you might need it:  rounds, patient consultations, clinical settings, etc.  Other drawbacks:  I have a feeling that the database is in transition; maybe this accounts for the overall inconsistent format.  In some areas, information will be tucked into folders and files, while other areas are more snazzy and intuitively navigable, and less clicky.  For help, the video demos are extremely basic, but they’re short and easy to find since they pop-up almost every time you want to explore something new.

Primal Pictures Interactive Anatomy truly shines on desktop.  This database can be a useful supplement for many classes and students studying a variety of subjects.  It can be a great teaching tool for faculty, residents, and patient education.  Excellent clinical and dissection slides, 3D interactivity, videos, and animations.

Getting to it: You can get to the database via our Databases–just scroll down the page to Primal Pictures Interactive Anatomy.  If you’re off campus, you’ll be asked for your Blazer ID and password.  As always, if you have any trouble, you ASK US!