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Complete Anatomy: Simplifying Anatomy for Learners and Practitioners

Elizabeth Munn | Managing Director | International Education at Elsevier

Medicine is considered as one of the toughest streams of study and rightly so because, able medical practitioners are trusted with human lives. For effective study and to gain knowledge, medical practitioners today don’t just rely on faculty and coursebooks but also explore the digital options. The digital medium has the power to simplify complex topics, like Anatomy, using the audio and video mechanisms for an explanation.

However, the path for the digital medium to gain acceptance has not been easy. Of course, nowadays students can get help to buy sociology essay or other subjects from sources. Professors and medical faculty are often reluctant to change what had been working for centuries, to embrace new technology. As such, a small Irish company 3D4 Medical, which is committed to helping students become great doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals, took a different approach.

In its mission to support faculty as they strive to make a difference for their students, 3D4Medical’s strategy was a bottom-up approach. The students were becoming very familiar with the digital alternatives and were quick to identify the most useful product by the company, ‘Complete Anatomy’. It was often either through the student body putting pressure on faculty or the professors recognizing that the majority of students were using the platform already, which lead to its first institutional deals.

Today, Complete Anatomy, an education platform, is used to educate both medical students and patients, and this space is growing rapidly especially given the COVID19 situation. Though it started as a support to the studies, the current situation has made it necessary that students and faculties have access to an app like this that can benefit both. Many institutions not only have to address the immediate need for distance learning but also to have a Plan B for any future emergencies.

Elizabeth Munn, Managing Director of International Education at Elsevier, which acquired 3D4Medical in 2019, shares more details about the app and its future.

Kindly brief us about your health app and its story so far.

3D4Medical initially began creating and selling images derived from 3D anatomical models to everyone from medical publishers to advertising. With a growing need in medical education to provide students with access to anatomy learning outside of the lab, we saw a new opportunity to apply our technology and expertise. We decided to produce the first educational app for medical students, “Complete Anatomy.”

This initiative caught the attention of various tech giants, and 3D4Medical was invited to appear on stage at events hosted by high-profile, global companies, which helped increase our overall level of exposure and awareness.

In late 2019, 3D4Medical was acquired by Elsevier, a global information analytics business specializing in science and health that is also part of RELX. 3D4Medical continues to develop and promote this revolutionary platform.

How do you stay relevant in this dynamic business environment?

Innovation has always been the cornerstone of 3D4Medical and what makes it one of the largest and most successful medical app companies in the world. 3D4Medical ensured its staff represented its end users and that they brought fresh thinking to the table by employing recent medical graduates in a variety of roles at the company. Our users also make up a large part of our development and design process with our latest update having been realized because of direct student feedback. Having a fully comprehensive understanding of its customers has played a big role in remaining relevant.

How exactly does Complete Anatomy benefit the user, in what way?

There are two primary use cases:

Medical Education – With Complete Anatomy, you can isolate any structure or view it in situ, or follow the path of a structure through the body. As many studies have proven, it has dramatically reduced student comprehension times while at the same time increasing their retention times.

Patient Education – Whereas before a healthcare provider might draw on a piece of paper or point at a chart on the wall, they can now engage their patients with rich graphics.

Keeping in mind the need for active healthcare today, how is your company ensuring public awareness for it?

It will become more and more important for everyone to become health literate as our health care systems move from a paternalistic “doctor knows best” approach to one where the patient will have a much greater degree of ownership of their healthcare pathways. Complete Anatomy’s current use in patient education is a growth area that we will continue to explore.

How do you envisage your company’s growth along with the development of your user base?

With the recent acquisition by Elsevier, we have brought together a world-class 3D technology platform and a global leader in anatomy education and content, which allows 3D4Medical many opportunities to grow the Complete Anatomy platform both within the Elsevier stable of offerings and as a stand-alone product.

About the Leader

Elizabeth Munn, Managing Director of International Education at Elsevier, has been in various roles within healthcare information and analytics for over 20 years but her real passion lies in helping to improve outcomes in health education. She was a keen advocate of the acquisition of 3D4Medical in 2019, as she could see the power of its flagship app in providing a rich learning experience in one of the most complex subjects within medicine. She also knew that Complete Anatomy was a superb complement to Elsevier’s world – famous brands in Anatomy like Gray’s, Netter, and Sobotta.



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