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Free or Low Cost Medical Images and Videos

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Free or Low Cost Medical Images and Videos
by System Administrator - Monday, 15 May 2017, 10:47 AM

For the past year I have been spending most of my working time re-designing a rather large portfolio of medical continuing medical education courses for my employer using Adobe Captivate.

One of the things that I wanted to add to the revised courses were images and video clips that would replace selected narrative, assist with understanding and make units more engaging. One of the challenges with this approach was that it had to be accomplished at as low a cost as possible.  

Given the cost constraint a two pronged approach was taken:

  1. Micro videos were developed using Camtasia by TechSmith. The software is relativity inexpensive and very easy to use by design staff and SMEs (subject matter experts). Volunteer experts who specialized in areas covered by the course content recorded micro-videos that could be incorporated into curriculum re-writes or consumed as stand-alone units.
  2. The internet was searched for image and video libraries that offered assets for adoption or adaption. The search turned out to be more fruitful than I could have imagined. Some of the resources found are listed below. Note: The list is provided in alphabetical order, not in a recommended order, or by discipline or sub-discipline.


  • AccessMedicine Multimedia - Search or browse the index of videos. To search for images, select "Advanced Search", then select "Images" in the gray toolbar below the search box.
  • American Society of Hematology (ASH) Image Bank - Contains over 2100 images. Free registration required to download images.
  • Anatomy of the Human Body by Henry Gray - The edition of Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body features 1,247 vibrant engravings—many in color—from the classic 1918 publication.
  • ARRS Goldminer - Over 200,000 radiological images published in selected, peer-reviewed journals. You can search by anatomy, imaging technique, patient age and gender.
  • ClinicalKey Multimedia - Elsevier. ClinicalKey has millions of images available to download to PowerPoint and over 13,000 medical and surgical videos. Select "Multimedia" at the top to browse.
  • CDC Public Health Image Library (PHIL) - PHIL indexes photographs, illustrations and multimedia files held by the CDC. Most of the images in the collection are in the public domain and are thus free of any copyright restrictions. Beneath each image you will see a fair use statement that tells you if the image is public domain or copyright protected.
  • DAVE Project - A searchable library of gastrointestinal endoscopic video clips covering a wide spectrum endoscopic imaging.
  • De Humani Corporis Fabrica in Color - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A digital collection of the numerous colored woodcuts in the library’s first edition of De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.
  • Dermatlas -- Dermatology Image Atlas - A searchable database of over 12,000 high-quality dermatology images. The database is sponsored by Johns Hopkins Medical Institution.
  • Duke University Medical Center - Medical Images - A directory that lists image sites by medical specialty.
  • - Interactive Atlas of Anatomy - e-anatomy is an anatomy e-learning web site. More than 1500 slices from normal CT and MR exams were selected in order to cover the entire sectional anatomy of human body. Images were labeled using Terminologia Anatomica. A user-friendly interface allows to cine through multi-slice image series combined with interactive textual information, 3D models and anatomy drawings.
  • E-Skeletons Project - Provides images of human and non-human primate skeletons.
  • GastroLab Endoscopy Archives - Was initiated in 1996 with the goal of maintaining an endoscopic image gallery free to use for all interested health care personals.
  • GoldMiner - Radiological image search engine from the American Roentgen Ray Society.
  • Hardin MD - Medical and Disease Pictures - a Free and established resource that has been offered by the University of Iowa for quite some time. The home page is in directory style where users will have to drill down to find the images they are looking for, many of which go offsite. Nevertheless, Hardin MD is an excellent gateway to 1,000s of detailed medical photos and illustrations.
  • Health Education Assests Library (HEAL) - HEAL is a database of freely accessible, web-based multimedia teaching materials for educators and learners in the health sciences. HEAL employs a peer review process for inclusion of resources. Users may browse by subject or search for specific terms and results may be limited to animation, audio, image, video, web page formats.
    Health on the Net Media Gallery - Health on the Net (HON) Foundation is a non-governmental organization whose central purpose is to set standards for the presentation of health information on the web. The Media Gallery is a searchable repository of over 6,800 images and videos which meet HON standards.
  • Images from the History of Medicine - The U.S. National Library of Medicine's historical database contains nearly 60,000 images documenting social and historical aspects of medicine from the Middle Ages to the present. The collection includes portraits, pictures of institutions, caricatures, genre scenes, and graphic art in a variety of media.
  • Interactive Dermatology Atlas - Image reference source for common and uncommon skin problems.
  • Lane Medical Library’s Bio-Image Search - Stanford. A database of biomedical images with Public Domain & Creative Commons licenses from a variety of sources.  It organizes your results by reuse rights.
  • - Images - Developed and maintained by Dr. William Herring and other staff at the Albert Einstein Medical Center.
  • MedEdPortal - Association of American Medical Colleges. MedEdPortal is a free peer-reviewed publication service and repository for medical and oral health teaching materials, assessment tools, and faculty development resources.
  • MedPix - A Radiology and Medical Picture Databases resource tool. The home page interface is confusing and the entire website design is not user-friendly and has a mid 1990s feel to it.
  • Medical Image Databases on the Internet - (UTHSCSA Library) A directory of links to websites with topic specific medical related images.
  • Medical Pictures and Definitions - Large database of medical pictures and definitions.
  • MicrobeLibrary - A peer-reviewed digital media center for microbiology educators. Collection is licensed under a Creative-Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
  • NIH Images - Millions of images and figures compiled from medical and life sciences journals are available through the NIH Images database.
  • NCI Visuals Online - This collection from the National Cancer Institute contains general biomedical and science-related images, cancer-specific scientific and patient care-related images, and portraits of directors and staff of the National Cancer Institute. All images are in the public domain and may be used, linked, or reproduced without permission.
  • NIDDK Image Library - From the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. Images are in the public domain unless otherwise stated.
  • Nucleus Medical Art- Medical Illustrations, Medical Art. Includes 3D animations. "Nucleus Medical Art, Inc. is a leading creator and distributor of medical illustrations, medical animations, and interactive multimedia for publishing, legal, healthcare, entertainment, pharmaceutical, medical device, academia and other markets, both in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Image Library - This site is devoted entirely to providing access to images of interest to women's health. In addition to providing you with access to images we also point to other women's health related images on the Internet.
  • Old Medical Pictures - Hundreds of fascinating and interesting old, but high quality photographs and images from the late 19th and early 20th century.
  • OPENi, an Open Access Biomedical Image Search Engine - National Library of Medicine. Use Openi to locate abstracts and images (including charts, graphs, clinical images, etc.) from the open source literature and biomedical image collections.
  • PHIL : Public Health Image Library - Images provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Specimens -  A Flickr collection of gross and microscopic images of pathology specimens by Ed Uthman, a Houston pathologist.
  • Surgery Videos - A National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus collection of links to 100s and 100s of different surgical procedures. You must have RealPlayer media player on your computer to view these videos which are free of charge.
  • The ADAM Medical Encyclopedia with Illustrations - Perhaps one of the best illustrated medical works on the internet today, the ADAM Medical Encyclopedia includes over 4,000 articles about diseases, tests, symptoms, injuries, and surgeries. It also contains an extensive library of medical photographs and illustrations to back up those 4,000 articles. These illustrations and articles are free to the public.
  • The Cell: An Image Library - American Society for Cell Biology. The Cell: An Image Library is a freely accessible, easy-to-search, public repository of reviewed and annotated images, videos, and animations of cells from a variety of organisms, showcasing cell architecture, intracellular functionalities, and both normal and abnormal processes.
  • The Crookston Collection - A collection of medical slides taken by Dr. John H. Crookston that have been digitized and are available to the public and doctors.
  • Trauma Image Database - Searchable repository of trauma images for educational use.
  • The Multi-Dimensional Human Embryo - a collaboration funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to produce and make available over the internet a three-dimensional image reference of the Human Embryo based on magnetic resonance imaging.
  • The New England Journal of Medicine Figures & Multimedia - Search or browse over 900 images of common clinical presentations. 
  • University of Iowa - Hardin MD - Links to popular diseases and conditions.
  • WebPath - The Internet Pathology Laboratory for Medical Education, Mercer University School of Medicine – Savannah. WebPath contains over 2700 images with text that illustrate gross and microscopic pathologic findings along with radiologic imaging associated with human disease conditions. Also includes tutorials and self-assessment items.
  • Yottalook - A free medical imaging search engine. Over 750,000 images. Developed and maintained by four radiologists.
  • - Collection of medical images in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Italian.