Easy three-dimensional scanning technology for anatomy education using a free cellphone app

Joe Iwanaga, Satoshi Terada, Hee Jin Kim, Yoko Tabira, Takamitsu Arakawa, Koichi Watanabe, Aaron S. Dumont, R. Shane Tubbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought difficult times to anatomy educators and medical/dental students. Under normal circumstances, gross anatomy classes give students opportunities to touch and observe human bones and cadaveric tissues, thus enhancing their understanding; such morphology is difficult to learn from textbooks alone. As many studies have shown, three-dimensional (3D) technologies used in online lectures can serve as alternatives to real specimens for providing knowledge of anatomy. However, such technologies are often expensive. The goal of this study was to create 3D anatomy models for online lectures using a free cellphone app. Free application software (Qlone) was used to create 3D anatomical models. The extracranium and intracranium of adult skull, fetal skull, mandible, temporal bone, second cervical vertebra, and ilium were all scanned and exported to the computer in 3D format. A total of 53 anatomical structures were evaluated by nine observers. Although the 53 structures used in this study did not include all the structures that students need to learn, visibility was good/acceptable for most of the 53. The free and simple 3D scanning app used in this study could enable anatomy educators to provide better content to students during online lectures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)910-918
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Association of Clinical Anatomists

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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