Medical Animation: A Guide To Apply Animation In Medical Education

Medical Animation: The Guide To Apply Animation In Medical
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Summary: Why does medical animation work so well? I offer a "dummy" guide on animation in the medical field (e.g., for patients' and professional training).

Applying Animation In The Medical Field: A Guide

Medical animation is a short educational film that explains complex medical topics via illustration and motion. Medical animation is commonly used as an instructional tool for professional training and patient education.

In the medical industry, animations are being optimized globally, and these areas of application include patient education, drug mechanism of action, surgical planning and training, cellular and molecular studies, and more. With the emergence of newer-generation healthcare companies, a need has arisen to present information in a visually appealing and informative format.

How Well Do Animations Work In The Medical Field?

Our brain is pretty much an image processor. It can memorize visual experiences automatically before you realize what is happening. For instance, you can recall some life events, like your first kiss at the prom, without trying. Nevertheless, things such as texts and words you learned during your school days can be forgotten no matter how much effort you put into memorizing them. Moreover, text information is much more complicated and abstract for our brains to retain and retrieve. A video or image illustrating how a machine operates is clearly much easier to remember than when you read about it. Audiovisual materials in learning could help people retrieve the information better and reduce their learning time. 70% of people remember what they see, compared to the 20% who remember what they read, and the 10% who recall what they hear.

There are countless types of visual materials we could include in educational courses, such as images, charts, and videos. However, in medical training, using video materials could result in much better learning outcomes than using mere words or static illustrations. An online experiment was conducted to test the effectiveness of animations on people with different levels of health literacy, by comparing animated materials with static resources. The study showed that spoken animation is the best way to communicate complicated information regardless of the audience’s health literacy.

Suitable For A Wide Range Of Audiences

The narrated animations help learners with high health literacy essentially know their problem. It also helps those with poor health literacy recall information just as much as it does for more health-literate individuals. Therefore, animations can assist in professional training but also cover patient education and public awareness. It works even for patients with little or no medical understanding, or else they have trouble understanding medical terms and problems. Of course, animations alone cannot do the trick. They need to be supported with audio and text narration.

Improve Engagement

People tend to stick to information they can understand rather than tricky, complicated information. So, they look for understandable knowledge more frequently, in order to learn.

Provide A Deeper Understanding

Thanks to detailed visual explanations, medical knowledge that contains a lot of complex info is now easy to understand. Moreover, medical animation also provides accurate and in-depth data for the audience.

Diverse Educational Resources

Animation allows comprehensible descriptions of hard-to-explain data. It also makes the creation of figures, such as medicine as heroes and viruses as enemies, possible…to make learning fun and enjoyable for creative educational courses.

Who Can Utilize Medical Animation Videos?

The application of medical animation is broadly in:

Therefore, there are many individuals and teams in the healthcare workforce who can benefit from the application of medical animation videos. These include:

  • Doctors and surgeons
  • Medical students and interns
  • College professors
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Drug stores
  • Biotechnical organizations
  • NGOs
  • Medical training course builders
  • Other medical organizations

Area Of Expertise For Medical Education Animation

All we had before technology were documents supported by medical illustrations. Nowadays, video teaching materials have made it easier for practitioners to show people the procedure instead of making them read about it. Animation in medical education would make for an effective visual aid to the traditional teaching methods of books, journals, and tutorials.

Animation contributes a huge benefit to the healthcare industry. Medical animation can convey important information to enhance communication with patients or explain a broad range of topics to medical students.

1. Patient Education And Awareness Raising

Besides the physicians, the patients also need animation in the medical field to thoroughly understand their health situations. However, this task is not easy even for experienced doctors when they need to explain complicated medical concepts to people with limited health literacy. That’s why animation in medical education is such a helpful tool, that could allow patients to know their medical status.

As mentioned above, narrated animations with audio and text could help bridge the gap between the less literate and highly literate people. They give learners—patients—multisensory learning experiences and help them understand the concept faster. For example, a 47-second animated video could easily explain a heart attack, just like a 1000-word document.

Getting and raising public health awareness is another duty of animation in medical education. It is especially helpful and widely applicable for preventing diseases and teaching patients how to cope with them.

2. Professional Training

Besides serving the patients’ needs, animations can also be used in a wide range of medical fields for professional training purposes. Compared to the traditional method, medical education animation’s strengths contribute to improving learning quality.

  • Visualize unseeable objects and knowledge vividly
    Medical studies contain a large amount of knowledge, including about things that cannot be seen with the human eye or that are too complicated to be described by words. Take cells and molecules, for instance. Most of them are only visible under a microscope. Therefore, cellular and molecular animation allows studies to be easier and more meaningful for researchers. This can also be used in other fields such as using medical simulations for experiential learning, or pharmaceutical mechanism of action (MOA) to display how a new drug binds to cellular structures. It can even demonstrate the exact way the new drug would act, making the effect of the drug absolutely clear to the investor.
  • Deliver complicated knowledge simply and accurately
    For work that requires high accuracy and absolute attention to detail like surgery, interns take a long time to learn the skills. However, animations in surgical training and planning can help reduce the time they spend reading numerous thick textbooks. By explaining everything from complicated surgical procedures to pharmaceutical mechanisms, interns can now have a clear way to practice. For a novice in the medical field, dealing with an emergency is not easy. In those urgent circumstances, emergency care instruction is a brilliant solution that could provide instructions on how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Besides, for forensic reconstruction, also, animations are very useful. They allow MRI-assisted virtual autopsy or "virtopsy" of dead remains that are too damaged to be reconstructed.

The best characteristic of animated videos is that they can deliver complicated information in detail, especially 3D animations. 3D animations describe medical processes with high accuracy, even on those things that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Accuracy is such an important factor in medical training because it directly relates to the matter of life. When students have more practical experiences, they have better learning outcomes compared with just imagining the procedures in their minds. By giving them the visualized information right away, animations help learners understand the process more easily, and remember all the information better.

The advantage also extends to other science subjects. For example, engineering students can benefit from educational animations that can help them easily grasp complicated mechanisms.

How Many Animation Types Are Applicable For Medical Education?

1. Interactive Technology

Including 3D Interactive FX and Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality are an immense budgeted industry with leading medical visualization advancements that provide more realistic and dimensionally experimental methods. They utilize a lot of the newest technologies, which cost no less than a billion dollars in capital spending. It is fascinating and explorable. We use dome gadgets to examine this in the medical education field. If they are worn for a long time, they get you sweaty for sure.

2. 2D Animation Medical Education

This is a better learning material than texts when it comes to engagement and retention. It is also a more reasonable means than 3D videos in terms of pricing. The 2D animation shows the process in a less realistic way. However, it can also give learners an engaging multisensory learning experience, as does 3D animation medical education. 2D medical animations transform boring training into something much more enjoyable and funny. Plus, it saves more time than 3D medical animation. Therefore, it’s suitable for projects with a strict timeline, like the medical awareness month campaign.

3. Medical Whiteboard Animation

Medical whiteboard animation uses a hand drawing medical terms on a white screen. This type of medical animation is loved for its flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Whiteboard animation not only describes medical concepts in detail but also brings a friendly vibe to the audience, especially patients.

4. 3D Animation Medical Education

This is a must-use for visualizing complicated subjects which need accurate details, like surgical training. The only drawback of 3D animations is that they require a significant amount of time and economic resources. 1-minute of 3D animation could cost thousands of dollars if done by a professional medical animation studio in the U.S. or U.K., and it takes about 3–5 months to finish. Another, more affordable, option is 2D animation.

Explore A Case Study: The Application Of 2D Animation In Medical Education For Nurses' Training By IntelyCare

IntelyCare is a staffing company that provides an exceptional workforce solution for the American nurses' shortage. With their proprietary scheduling system, they aim to solve this issue by allowing nurses to choose work shifts and encouraging work-life balance. They believe that when nurses are in their best state, their productivity increases.

Besides building an intelligent staffing system, IntelyCare also allows nurses to join the educational training program using their mobile app. However, medical training can be overwhelming even for professional nurses. This issue is addressed by the application of animation in educational courses. Animated videos make the learning experiences fun yet professional with accurate information.

IntelyCare has resorted to animations as "a way to break the traditional sense of healthcare training being long and tedious." The script is written thoroughly to deliver the information in full context. The animation is narrated with audio and text to help nurses understand the concepts faster and more easily. The medical illustrations are also designed carefully to prevent misleading information and to beautifully present the lesson in a less tense way.


Animations are a helpful visual aid to the medical field. We need something more than a plain document or illustration to deliver the information creatively. Depending on the type of medical subject and area, we could choose to use either 2D or 3D animation in medical education. If we apply and combine these types of animated videos correctly, then the result would be a cost-efficient and cost-effective training course.

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