Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I was waiting from some
information from software developers.
I have quite a bit of experience with various anatomy software and
found several programs very useful during medical school. As you
note, most of the programs at that level are probably too detailed and
overwhelming for a high school level audience. At that time, I was
using a Windows-based computer, but have since switched (very happily)
to Mac OS X and was very interested to look into what programs out
there will run in OS X native. Unfortunately, the list is short,
particularly for the grade 9-12 audience.
For whatever reason, the best software seems to still be running on
Macs in Classic (pre-OS X) mode. You can obviously still run these
programs, if you have a way to install Classic mode. The latest
releases of OS X do not include OS 9 (required for Classic mode).
Although it runs only in Classic mode, I feel compelled to mention one
of the best products on the market for this educational level,
A.D.A.M. Essentials. This product is aimed at grades 9-12. The High
School Suite contains A.D.A.M. The Inside Story, Nine Month Miracle,
Life's Greatest Mysteries, and Interactive Physiology - Cardiovascular
Module. Here is some detail from their website:
"The Essentials High School Suite provides the ideal interactive
anatomy and physiology multimedia software tools for human anatomy and
AP biology courses in grades 9-12. The latest, award-winning CD-ROM
packages - A.D.A.M.® The Inside Story?, Life's Greatest Mysteries, 9
Month Miracle®, and the Cardiovascular Module from the
A.D.A.M.?/Benjamin-Cummings Interactive Physiology series - are
combined with an intuitive Instructor's Resources CD to create a
visually rich and comprehensive high school level curriculum.
A.D.A.M.® The Inside Story? Complete provides the ideal interactive
anatomy and multimedia software tools for Life Sciences in grades 5-8.
The latest, award-winning CD-ROM packages - A.D.A.M.® The Inside
Story? and Life's Greatest Mysteries, are combined with an intuitive
Instructor's Resources CD to create a visually rich and comprehensive
I have used several of the A.D.A.M. products and can confirm that
their products are nothing short of amazing. They have multiple
products at all levels. Additionally, they have multiple add-on
modules (such as the included Cardiovascular Physiology Module) to
enhance their basic offerings. Here is a link to the Essentials
I contacted A.D.A.M. technical support to ask if an OS X product is
available. Apparently, one is in the works and will be announced in
2006. Here is the e-mail I received:
That Essential high school suite runs in classic mode only, and it is
currently being updated. We will have an announcement in 2006 on the
product. Thank you for your interest and loyalty. I will add you to my
I would suggest contacting them to be added to the update contact list
to know when any OS X products become available. A.D.A.M. also has
more advanced applications, which may also be useful. They can be
found on the company's main website.
Another possibility would be to use their Online Anatomy resource,
which you can read about here:
Demos can be found here:
Another program perhaps considering is Primal 3D Interactive Series
Complete Human Anatomy. This program will be available at the end of
May, 2005, and will run in Mac OS X native mode and will be sold on a
DVD-ROM. The price will be ~$1050.
This program is quite a bit more detailed and less structured (no
lesson plans, etc.), and aimed at a somewhat more advanced (e.g.
medical student) audience, but I mention it because it is one of the
few programs that runs in OS X native mode. The Student Anatomy
Collection, offered by the same company, is only available for PC.
The majority of their software written for the Mac runs only in
Classic mode. The company appears to be in the process of updating
their software collection, and new versions have been coming out for
Their site is here:
You can see some images of anatomy from this package here:
The Netter CD-ROM versions of the classic anatomy texts are good for
giving talks or discussing anatomy, however, they run in Classic mode
on the Mac at present.
The well-liked BodyWorks program has a DVD version, however, it has
been difficult to track down whether or not a Mac OS X version may be
in the works. I have alternately seen the BodyWorks line described as
being published by Princeton Review, Broderbund, and The Learning
Here is a somewhat dated (1999) review from the UK of the version 6.0
DVD. I have been unable to track down more recent information, and it
could be that this application is no longer published.
The University of Washington has multiple anatomy CD's that contain
movies using Quicktime. You can also access these movies and images
online from this site:
A DVD anatomy set is available from Lippincott Publishing. This set
includes 6 DVDs covering all of human anatomy. Here is a description:
"Now available in DVD format, this product represents Robert Acland's
painstaking efforts to bring human anatomy to life by teaching it in
real-time using fresh tissues. The conversion from video to DVD
provides features including searchable video images and a main menu,
table of contents, index, and a glossary of anatomical terms. The
advantages of these new features include greater accessibility and
ease of navigation, improved speed and efficiency, and high-resolution
images. Disc 1 will focus on the upper extremity, Disc 2 on the lower
extremity, Disc 3 on the trunk, Discs 4 and 5 on the head and neck,
and Disc 6 on the internal organs."
While this is not a program, the price is quite good ($170 from LWW,
likely cheaper from resellers), and may therefore be of interest.
Another possible direction to go would be to use online resources,
such as this site from Penn State, based on an anatomy course taught
there. The website has had over 250,000 hits.
Wright State also offers this NIH sponsored anatomy resource:
Another, somewhat basic resource is published online by
MyHealthScore.com and includes some advertising. You can try it out
You may also be interested in this site, which has reviews and ratings
of human anatomy software for the PC and Mac, although the site
appears to be somewhat dated:
You can also search for Mac OS X anatomy (and other) software through
Apple's software site:
So, my final recommendation would be to wait for the 2006 release of
the A.D.A.M. software. More titles will follow I'm sure. Right now,
though, A.D.A.M. has the best selection of software and appears to be
moving towards updating their applications for OS X, without relying
on the now out-of-date Classic mode.
I hope this was helpful. Please feel free to ask for clarification.