Can I do this?
I do a lot of breathing when cycling so I thought I’d record a video about this week’s anatomy topic from year 1 GEM.
It feels good to be making stuff again.
I’ve been working with a bug in the Android version of the Daily Anatomy app that meant the app didn’t update with a new question each day for some users that maybe didn’t use their Android devices much. I think I’ve fixed it – fingers crossed and I’ve sent the new version to Google’s Play Store.
I also introduced a big problem for users with older versions of Android by adding something new, but I think I’ve fixed that too. If the app crashed when you tried to start it and you’re using a version of Android older than 4.4.4 try the new version in the Play Store. Hopefully it will start up and run now.
The code is a mess. But it works.
I’ve been writing new questions over the summer, filling in some gaps and rounding out the collection a little. All the new questions I add will pop up in both versions of the app.
I hope it’s helping! Andy’s learning from it, so that’s a start.
Daily Anatomy (Google Play Store)
I learnt a bit of Java and Android programming a month or two ago and built the Android version of the Daily Anatomy app. It’s now up on the Google Play store for your favourite Android device.
The app will give you an anatomical question every day, will record your total score, and keep track of how you perform on questions from different regions and systems of the body. I’ll add leaderboards and achievements in the future.
Go get a copy:
The animations for Embryology at a Glance that Steve Atherton has been creating have started going up on YouTube. We’ll keep working on them and keep adding to the channel. The animations are intended to support the text and illustrations in the textbook. Go and have a look:
The second edition of Embryology at a Glance will be on sale as a paperback from 20th May, and I think digital copies are available in some areas now. We’ve added a few chapters on stem cells, cell signalling and antenatal screening with the usual full page of illustrations beside a full page of fairly brief text.
The big news with this book will be the new animations. We’ve been working with 3D animation genius Steve Atherton to produce animations of some of the key embryological processes in some of the chapters. These animations take time to produce and we’ll release a collection with the book and continue to add to that collection over time. We’ve been sharing these with some people for a little while and getting thumbs up, so we’re looking forward to sharing them more widely.
The other news is that these videos will be available through augmented reality. Instead of having to go to a website every time you want to look at an animation you’ll be able to access them in a number of ways, and one of which will be through the free Aurasma app on your smartphone or tablet. You’ll need to sign up and follow the Embryology at a Glance account, but after that you’ll just have to show an illustration in the book to your phone and it will grab the video and overlay it over the textbook automatically. More on that soon.
I thought I should update you guys on what I’ve been doing with the Daily Anatomy app since its release in January, and what I’m planning to do.
My main job has been to write batches of new questions and add them to the ever growing pool of questions that the app draws from each day. We have seem some questions repeated, and we’ve seen some interesting sequential questions on the same topic, and some similar questions asked, but these are all chosen at random. The bigger the pool, the lower the chance of seeing the same question again. Writing good quality, accurate questions with a helpful feedback description is a lot of work (and a big part of my other job!) and this is why this is a paid app – I need motivation to keep writing these things.
With some of my beta testers we’ve listed plans for adding achievements to the app, to reward users for answering a number of questions correctly for each system and region, for example, among others. I’ve also written some code to note your longest correct question answering streak and I’ll add a second leaderboard so you can compete on this front too.
The Daily Anatomy app went live on the Apple App Store in January, and the leaderboard is slowly filling up with students. I’ll be adding batches of questions regularly so the bank will keep getting bigger, and the daily question is chosen at random.
Hopefully people will find it fun, challenging and helpful!
I’ve started work on an Android version but as I’m creating these in my spare time (and how much spare time does an academic ever really have?) it will take a while to get an early version on the Google Play Store.
I have plans for updates to the Daily Anatomy app that I hope to release during the year, and have also begun developing ideas for another app, also for medical students but not anatomy related…
See the Daily Anatomy iPhone app on the Apple App Store here.