Pharmaceutical Animation – Scientific Storytelling Through Video

There’s no escaping the fact – biotech is a complex world. Pharmacology encompasses myriad, often-complicated topics and processes, and forward-facing pharmaceutical companies need many strings to their bow.

At any given time, the onus may be on pharma companies to provide elements such as: MOA (mechanism of action) demonstrations, novel healthcare research, doctor and nurse practitioner training, patient education, new drug applications and a final deliverable – not to mention ongoing marketing, and general expertise in scientific concepts and the healthcare profession – all at a high-quality and standard and within budget. By anyone’s reckoning, that’s a full plate of work.

But you may be surprised at just how valuable 3D animation, visual storytelling and pharmaceutical animation can be. Each one of the above elements, and many more besides, can be significantly aided by visualisation and production of immersive medical animations.

When you have a complex story or message to communicate, there really is no better option than pharmaceutical animations: according to some studies, video content can be up to 1200% more successful than other types of content, with viewers retaining 95% of the core message (Explain Ninja). It’s for this reason that medical animation is set to boom this decade, with a 19.2% CAGR growth rate projected between now and 2029.

At Sliced Bread Animation design studio, we’re experts at crafting engaging medical animations to conceptualise pharmacology concepts; just take a look at our case studies. In this article, we’ll be exploring the fascinating and exciting world of medical animation videos in more detail. To find out more about how we can help manifest high-quality pharmacology animation for your organisation, get in touch online, or reach out on +44 (0)207 148 0526.

What is pharmaceutical animation?

Visual storytelling in an animated video takes a central concept, story or message, and communicates it through professionally-rendered graphics, either as a 2D or (more likely, these days) a 3D animation.

As Jennifer Yuh Nelson (DreamWorks storyboard artist) puts it: “a lot of the time in animation is spent getting the story right – that’s something you can’t rush.” With the core narrative story established, production can begin in earnest: graphic design, audio elements and studio post-production, for instance.

Pharma animation explainer videos take these mechanics and apply them specifically to pharmacology and medical concepts. For instance, a pharma animation might be used for:

  • Multimedia patient education
  • Doctor or nurse practitioner training
  • Explaining medical science
  • Drug MOA animation
  • Evidence of scientific accuracy and/or scientific expertise
  • Conceptual examination of the human body
  • Fundraising, grant requests or ongoing marketing
Two Children wearing football kits drawn in an Anime Style, Once standing and holding a football and the other sitting on the floor holding an injured ankle

Pharma animation vs mixed-reality pharmacology

In a way, pharmaceutical explainer videos mirror the use of augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) in biotech and pharmacology. They help create an immersive virtual world, one which leverages powerful visualisation to the benefit of the healthcare profession.

The main difference is that while virtual reality requires the use of a VR headset (such as Oculus Rift), pharma animation videos would most likely be implemented on a (WordPress or other) website.

How pharma animation helps pharmaceutical companies conceptualise a story

The first step to creating a high-quality medical animation production is to select a design studio with a proven track record.

To that end; medical and healthcare animation produced by the Sliced Bread Animation team is helping forge the future of the medical profession, through creative and powerful visual storytelling. Contact us today to discuss your next project.

For a little more insight into how 3D animation can bring pharmacology and biotech healthcare to life – and ensure the messages stay with your audience – we’ll walk you through the production process below.

1. Consultation: Though every project is different, they all start the same way. We’ll spend some time getting to know you and becoming familiar with the nature of your project, including aspects such as process time, budget, goals, intended device, content guidelines and branding.

2. Visual storytelling inspiration: Next, we’ll run through some graphic options and take a look through our case studies. These discussions with clients, scientists and experts are to let us know how we should communicate medical science, and to get aligned on how the final deliverable should feel, helping make sure we put our best design foot forward.

3. Storyboard design: Creation of a storyboard is an often-overlooked, but crucial, milestone in the production of pharma animation. A storyboard is a series of images that represent how the pharmaceutical animation will flow; you can think of it as an effective skeleton of the final deliverable.

4. The Sliced Bread design magic: Now comes time for us to take things in-house and actually create your pharma animation. Our experts will use their years of experience and cutting-edge visual storytelling technology to produce the video and, where necessary, we’ll consult with scientists to ensure we maintain scientific accuracy at all times.

5. Your visual pharmaceutical story: The moment you’ve been waiting for: delivery of your pharma animation. Each 3D explainer video we produce is engineered to a bespoke brief and optimised to manifest your goals – whether that’s getting a patient to click for more information, providing advanced scientific training to high-level doctors, or anything in-between. And, don’t forget: it’s yours to keep, and use as many times or however you wish.

A still from a 2D animation showing a scientist looking at a molecule in a lab through AR glasses that are linked to a microscope

Why does animation work so well in the pharma and healthcare industry?

We’ve already seen that animated videos have revolutionised the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, and there’s a very good reason for this – actually, there are two.

The first lies in the nature of biotech and pharmacology itself: its latent complexity, the nuance and intricacy involved in medical concepts. The second reason pharmaceutical visual storytelling works so well is more to do with the natural hardwiring of the human brain, and the way we’re biologically programmed to interpret information.

The complexity of pharmaceutical medical sciences

Ask any doctor or professor of medical science, and they’ll tell you that the subject deals with, quite possibly, some of the most hard-to-grasp ideas you can encounter.

This says nothing about the intelligence level of the audience, and everything about the profundity of biotech and pharmacology. Inherently, pharmaceutical topics are complex; whether that means explaining the human body to a group of students, informing patients about the lifestyle changes they can expect following a diagnosis, or delivering a message about new drug applications MOA (mechanism of action), core pharma concepts contain a lot of information.

And, when transmitted in written form, or delivered as a lecture, this can quickly overload and overwhelm the audience.

Much more effective is the strategy of pharmaceutical animation video, where instead of telling the audience your message, you show them. In other words, complex healthcare concepts can be rendered in easily-digestible (that’s not to say, simplistic) terms, for ease of visualisation and conceptual immersion.

Our visual predisposition

Some fascinating, insightful and downright game-changing research has gone into uncovering the ways in which the human brain ‘absorbs’ information. These days it’s well-understood, for instance, that there are four general learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic learners.

But it’s deeper than that.

It’s been proven that the human brain is actually hardwired to process visual information more efficiently and effectively: that’s why wellness techniques such as positive visualisation are so helpful to so many. In fact, our brains can actually process an image 60,000x quicker than text, and up to 90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual (Thermopylae).

More than this, there’s the narrative aspect to consider. Fundamentally, pharma animation videos tell a story – studies into evolutionary biology and social dynamics reveal that humans ‘prefer’ information when it is communicated in this way.

By and large, dogmatised information leaves us cold, while storytelling engages our mind and causes the central message to stick. This phenomenon runs all the way through human history, and is as true for biotech and pharmacology as it was for paintings on cave walls that ‘explained’ the weather.

The importance of science animation in big pharma

Pharma animation then, evidently, represents a revolutionary new information-transmission device to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Safe to say, medical animation is set to continue its upward trajectory: not only can visual storytelling as a medium accommodate any number of biotech concepts, it’s a demonstrably powerful communication method with provable effects.

If you’re interested in learning more about a pharma animation video, and the ways visual storytelling can help you communicate biotech concepts effectively and engagingly, get in touch online or call us on +44 (0)207 148 0526.

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