3D Medical Animation: Medical Illustration And A New Dawn In Healthcare

The ability to explain complex medical concepts via 3D medical animation signals a step up for the healthcare industry. Everything from patient engagement to student training – from 3D visualisations of surgical devices, to explaining the human body through computer graphics – stands to attain new levels of quality and effectiveness, through medical illustration and animatic e-learning.

Projected to grow by 19.2% CAGR by 2029 (GlobeNewswire), and given the ever-expanding sophistication of animation software, 3D medical animations are booming right now – and with good reason.

Doctors, healthcare professionals and patients around the world are realising the benefits of using animatic 3D models to visualise and conceptualise many different aspects within the industry: student training, technology explainers, surgical procedures, and beyond.

What Are 3D Medical Animations & Medical Device Animation?

3D medical animations refer to any video or computer-rendered graphics project intended for use in healthcare and medicine. This includes both private and nationalised health services.

Imagine medical experts who complement academic presentations with scientific animations; doctors explaining procedures and services via animation software; or animators using medical animation videos to communicate general well-being messages.

All of the above would fall under the umbrella of 3D medical animation.

In much the same way, medical device animation uses computer visuals (often created by a medical animation company or animation studio) to communicate and explain surgical equipment and technology.

This could include visualisation of medical procedures for training purposes, an explanation of a specific medical device to increase ease of use, or an animated video to convey pharmacology processes.

Uses of 3D Animation in Healthcare & Pharmacology

The only limitation to the application of medical animation videos is the imagination of the medical animators. 3D animation can be utilised to facilitate an enhanced experience in many aspects of the healthcare industry, from explainer videos for patients to the production of training for students.

Here at Sliced Bread Animation, we’re an expert medical animation company and recognised producer of healthcare animation projects. Using our experience of producing 3D visuals to enhance conceptualisation of medical messages, we detail some of the most common uses of 3D animation in healthcare and pharmacology.

Pharmacology Processes

Sometimes, it’s necessary for healthcare professionals to communicate the invisible.

It’s important to explain to patients the effects and reactions involved in prescribed medicine; but how can doctors communicate these processes (known as the mechanism of action), if they can’t visualise them?

The answer is in animated 3D models.

The production of scientific animations and computer graphics simulations can allow what we might consider a medical illustration – a package of visuals that effectively communicate pharmacological phenomena, occurring within the body at a microscopic level.

Medical Training

The speed at which humans process visual information is well documented: according to some reports, our brains process images 60,000x faster than text, and up to 90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual (Thermopylae).

Therefore, it makes sense that when educational institutions are training students of medicine – which includes some tremendously complex themes and devices – they turn to 3D visualisations to do so.

In other words, scientific animations and 3D models have proven to be the most effective methods of training students in medical procedures and concepts.

Patient Conceptualisation

A great deal of research has gone into the power of ‘the mind’s eye’ in aiding and accelerating patient recovery, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. Indeed, many pre-modern cultures and civilisations believed in the restorative, healing power of visualisation and imagination.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “by creating images in your mind, you can reduce pain and other symptoms,” and images allow patients to “create a kind of daydream that ‘removes’ them from or gives them control over their present circumstances” (Johns Hopkins Medicine).

One of the most effective ways healthcare practitioners can assist patients in this is by providing medical animation videos. These 3D models and simulations can be the visual foundation upon which patients conceptualise their treatment and recovery.

How To Build a Quality Health Brand Experience With Video

Private or public sector; the pressures on healthcare services are more extreme than ever before.

With the world’s population having recently surpassed 8 billion (WBUR), it’s essential for medical providers to build a positive relationship with patients. It can increase brand familiarity, public awareness and a powerful sense of togetherness.

A significant amount of work must go into building this provider/patient rapport, but a good deal of the heavy lifting can be achieved through software animation.

People, history has proven, tend to fear those things they don’t understand – and medical concepts can often be mystifying, for those outside the industry. One way to communicate complex medical concepts to the wider public is through 3D visualisations.

Similarly, healthcare services can employ 3D medical animations to cultivate feelings of empathy, understanding and affinity. Given the real and present danger of a public disconnect from medical services, the power of this positive sentiment cannot be understated.

A still from a 3D animated mechanism of action animation, a purple cell of some sort

Our Work With 3D Medical Animations: Examples

Over the years, we’ve partnered with numerous healthcare establishments to complete work on a range of bespoke and high-quality 3D medical animations.

Below, you’ll find just a couple of examples from our portfolio.

  • What is a colonoscopy and what’s involved? – Denhams Digital, Bowel Cancer UK: On this project, we developed an explainer video aiming to take the fear out of colonoscopy procedures, inform patients on practical before and after steps, and align with brand guidelines to create a sense of familiarity.
  • Ollie and Dog: Medical Device Animation – Emotive Healthcare: This video provides engaging and easy-to-digest advice to children with growth hormone deficiency, providing practical support on the use of an auto-injector advice.
  • Mechanism of Action (MOA) – Using a calm and clear voiceover with compelling graphics, this video addresses the key ways a specific medication interacts with the body. In this way, we enable clarity and insight into complex processes of medicine and the body.

Medical Device Animation FAQs

Before starting a medical device animation or 3D animation project, clients often have a few queries about the process. Offering a consultative and bespoke approach, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

What is the cost of a 3D medical animation?

The specific cost of your project will depend on the scope and nature of your medical illustration. We’re committed to providing best value to our clients; contact us now to discuss your project.

How are 3D animations made? What is the process?

Before we begin production, we’ll workshop with your organisation to get clear on the project brief: this includes the goals, purpose, core messages, brand guidelines and intended audiences. From there, we’ll work on a storyboard, and move into animation software to render the computer graphics.

What do clients need to provide for 3D medical animation?

The only thing we’ll require from you is some guidance as to the medical procedures and/or device your animation will be built around, and a few key clarifications regarding your brand.

Beyond that, the more creative ideas and imagination you can bring, the better!

How do I get the most out of my 3D medical animation?

The first priority will be to get your video in front of your target audience: that means rolling it out on your website, social media, and any other spaces where it can be utilised for success.

Going forward, your video is your organisation’s intellectual property – so we’d encourage clients to trial and test its use wherever it might provide value, and repurpose it to target alternative objectives.

How long does it take to create a medical animation?

We deliver medical animation projects in the most time-effective and efficient way possible. The exact length of production will depend on the specifics of the project.

3D Animated Still of an Internal bodily function

3D Visualisations in Healthcare Services

In today’s world, visual stories are an essential means of communication. Expert animatic computer graphics can cultivate strong emotional responses, achieve unprecedented levels of information retention, build brand awareness, and explain complicated concepts in an engaging way.

If you’re considering medical device animation or 3D medical animations to enhance your organisation’s storytelling ability, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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