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Daily iPad App: HeartPhys lets you peer into the complex workings of the heart

Unless you are a cardiologist, learning about how the heart works can be an daunting task. Words alone can't describe it and static images can't capture the complexity of how the heart functions. Medical students, heart patients or anyone with an interest in cardiology should look beyond paper textbooks and take a look at HeartPhys from Dr. Michael Parker.

Dr. Parker is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and has a background in computer science. He brought those two skills together to create interactive medical books and web-based animations describing the heart, lungs and kidneys. The next logical step in making this material accessible to the public was to bring these multimedia elements to the iPad in the form of an educational app.

HeartPhys was born out of desire to educate medical students, physicians and heart patients about the heart and how it works. The material is complex, but approachable due to the interactive animations that describe each concept. For example, heart catheterization patients can learn about their procedure by threading a catheter from the thigh into the heart to see the path it will travel, while medical students can study the depolarization and subsequent contraction of the heart muscles. Each interactive element includes a detailed explanation as well as lecture-style Show Me videos to help you understand some of these difficult cardiovascular topics.

HeartPhys ships with 19 animations and more will be added over time. The UI looks great, even on the iPad mini and the explanations are overflowing with the science behind the heart. It's definitely geared towards medical students, nurses, and anyone with a strong background in medical science.

HeartPhys is available for the iPad and costs US$4.99.

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