Exploring the impact of healthcare animation videos on medical training

With new cohorts of digital-savvy, social media-loving students coming in every year, education institutions across the world are investing in new ways of teaching.

Written by Jack Last

Across all fields, qualification levels and disciplines, educators are realising all the huge advantages that they can unlock through video-based educational content. 

In the case of healthcare, animation presents the perfect fit. With the versatility and customisability of this medium, educators can not only create completely bespoke pieces of content, but dramatically improve the quality of teaching materials at their disposal. 

With these videos, they can illustrate abstract concepts, show 3D models and simulations, give context to key topics and aid remote learning, while supporting all the different learning styles of their students. 

Let’s explore how.

What role do healthcare animation videos play in medical training?

Animation is an inherently versatile medium. Working with a professional animation agency, you can create content to suit almost any industry, target audience, use case, digital platform, and KPI - the possibilities are endless. 

Healthcare animation videos are used across a wide variety of medical training contexts. They include everything from short 30-second explainer clips, to key resources that form the crux of a module or training session. 

The roles that healthcare animation videos can play in medical training include (but aren’t limited to): 

  • Simplifying complex concepts - with words alone, it can be tricky to articulate a complex medical topic. It’ll require more time, a bit of back-and-forth with your audience, and a whole lot more words. But through animation, these key (and complex!) topics can be articulated as clearly, succinctly and precisely as possible.  
  • Enhancing understanding - thanks to the combination of bespoke audio and visual elements, animation can help educators make complex concepts far clearer for audiences to understand. For example, rather than trying to describe the intricacies of how a heart works through lecturing alone, animation can combine this audio with engaging and informative illustrations, which neatly sync up to the points as they are covered by the narrator. 
  • Improving retention - with animation’s bold visuals and striking design at your disposal, you can help make these topics far more memorable for students. Animation has a profound impact on retention. This is because the brain processes the majority of its information (a whopping 90%) visually. As a result, video is the most effective way to communicate messages to audiences. In fact, videos can increase message retention by up to 95% (compared to other content types). 
  • Creating a simulation - simulations are commonly used to support studies, particularly in fields like healthcare, where the topics are extremely complex, and often difficult to picture independently. Animation can be used to create detailed simulations of everything from crisis management to administering injections, and surgical simulations to decision-making scenarios.
  • Encouraging engagement - animated videos are the perfect way to spark engagement in a class. These bold, creative and visually appealing videos are sure to get everyone’s attention and (critically) retain it. 
  • Overcoming language barriers - by using visual and audio elements in combination, you can make it easier for students who don’t have English as a first language to follow your content. Then, they can also rewatch the content in their own time (more on this below). 
  • Supporting remote learning - with the addition of video, your lessons don’t have to finish at the end of the hour. Your students can rewatch the animation in their own time to further their learning, and strengthen their knowledge of any points that they may not have understood the first time. 
  • Fostering innovation - animation is a content type that isn’t commonly associated with fields like healthcare. As a result, it’s a great way to bring a new, innovative approach to your teaching. Plus, with its boldness and creativity, animation is sure to inspire innovative, out-of-the-box thinking among your audience. 

What are the advantages of using animation in medical education?

Although, when you think of animation, medical education may not be the first thing that springs to mind, animation has far more advantages to offer than creating a fun-filled TV advert. 

Animation unlocks a wide range of critical benefits for the healthcare field, including the ability to build dynamic, engaging and memorable lessons. 

The key advantages of using animation in medical education include: 

  • Facilitated visual learning - rather than depending on lectures and written text, using an animation enables you to add the visual element to your teaching. This is an extremely effective way to unlock all the benefits listed below. 
  • Enhanced comprehension - with the addition of an animation, you can further your audience’s understanding of the subjects, even when covering more complex topics. 
  • Improved retention of information - in fact, studies have shown that videos dramatically improve retention, particularly of notions and key details. In the advertising field, advertising a product with written text achieves a 10% retention rate, while video achieves around 95%. Then, when the two are combined, retention rate achieves a phenomenal 600%.
  • Dynamic and interactive learning experiences - with the addition of animation, you can bring these topics to life. Students can get involved, and see the relevance (and importance) of what they’re learning in context. 
  • Realistic simulation of medical procedures - take our NHS ‘What is an IUD’ explainer video as an example. Animations allow you to create super realistic simulations, making your content crystal-clear for students. 
  • Increased engagement among learners - if there’s one thing that social media has taught us over the last few years, it’s that audiences love video-based content. Not only do posts with videos generate three times the level of engagement of text-only posts, but 95% of B2B buyers say that they want video content from brands. 
  • Accommodation of various learning styles - by embedding videos in your lesson plans, you can support students who may learn better in ways other than the conventional lecture-and-writing-based format. As a result, you can (hopefully) see a boost in results across your entire class. 
  • Promotion of innovative teaching methods - videos represent a more modern, creative and innovative approach to teaching. They establish both you and your establishment as forward-thinking educators, and help students to see the field at large as one undergoing rapid, exciting developments.

How do healthcare animation videos improve understanding of complex medical concepts?

Beyond keeping your students engaged, entertained and interested, how can healthcare animation videos actually help to improve their understanding? 

Animation can foster greater, more in-depth understanding of even the most complex medical concepts. 

Here are just some of the ways that this can be achieved:

  • Breaking down complex processes into smaller, more digestible chunks, with either a series of shorter videos, or the video building up to intensive descriptions, with lighter, foundational or scene-setting information. 
  • Including detailed visual representations, such as bite-sized visuals, illustrated diagrams, animated mechanisms, anatomical structures, or a combination of the above.
  • Making abstract concepts (including everything from cellular processes, to the inner workings of the body) visible. 
  • Creating dynamic illustrations, which visualise what progression looks like over time. For instance, this can be used for illustrating how the body responds to medicines, or how symptoms escalate. For these topics, dynamic illustrations make the concept infinitely clearer than static diagrams. 
  • Embedding storytelling into the animation, to give the content context. For example, the clarity around contraception video that we created for the NHS includes the patients both at home, and in their check-ups. 
  • Adding step-by-step points, taking students through the content in a very clear, structured format. 
  • Incorporating 3D models of anatomical structures, to maximise students’ understanding of the concepts, while giving them the opportunity to access multiple perspectives, depth perception, and contextual understanding. 

What are the challenges of using animation in medical training?

It’s important to note that using animation in this sphere can pose some challenges. 

However, rest assured - when you work with a professional animation agency like OK Social, we know exactly what the potential challenges to this approach are, and how to expertly avoid them.  

The main challenges around using healthcare animation for medical training are:  

  • Maximising accuracy - these videos need to be completely accurate and realistic, to ensure what is created is as close to the truth (and so, beneficial for your students) as possible. 
  • Ensuring compliance - the content also needs to be completely aligned with all the relevant medical standards and guidelines. 
  • Including all the content’s nuances - with medical content, it is important to ensure that all nuances, detail and surrounding contexts are included. At the same time, this needs to be communicated without compromising the clarity of the animation. 
  • Accessibility - the content will need to be accessible for all students, including students who have a disability. The video should also be able to support students with different learning needs and learning styles. 

This is why, at OK Social, we collaborate closely with all our healthcare clients, to ensure we are describing and illustrating these concepts with complete precision. 

Our animation team has extensive experience in this field and, working closely with your team, we will create an engaging, accurate and informative piece of educational content, which can support the learning of all your students. 

What future trends can we expect in healthcare animation for medical training?

And, the opportunities of animation don’t end there. 

The digital content field is experiencing huge developments which, over the next few years, promise to revolutionise the styles of animation that we can create. 

These developments will unlock new advantages for brands in all industries. But, for healthcare in particular, these new technologies will enable animated content to be more immersive and informative than ever before. 

No question, it’s an exciting time to be an animation agency! 

The key future trends that we can expect to emerge in the next few years include: 

  • Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) integration:
    Leveraging VR and AR technologies, animations can become immersive learning experiences. This enables learners to interact with medical content in a three-dimensional digital learning space. 
  • Collaborative learning platforms:
    Creating metaverse online platforms in which learners can collaborate, share resources, and engage in interactive discussions about the lesson topics. For remote students in particular, this will help them to feel more involved in their course, and connect with and learn from each other. 
  • Mobile learning solutions:
    Developing mobile-friendly healthcare animation videos and apps. These will allow learners to access educational content anytime, anywhere, and on any device. While recent years have seen an influx in healthcare apps, the future promises far more advanced, sophisticated and intuitive solutions, which give students a bank of high quality learning materials at their disposal. 

So, what does it all mean?

Although they might not be the most obvious choice for new educational resources, medical training animation videos are the lesson aid you never knew you needed! 

Animation is the perfect medium for a medical context, as it allows institutions to create extremely precise, clear and informative content, which can be made completely bespoke to the specific topic being taught. 

Then, alongside its communication strengths, its innovative and playful design styles make animations a fantastic way to bolster engagement, retention and understanding. Talk about a win-win! 

Why work with an animation agency like OK Social?

OK Social is a professional motion graphic designer, trusted by some of the UK’s leading healthcare businesses to create informative and engaging animations. 

Our talented team of animation specialists work with clients on a close, one-to-one basis, to shape bespoke content that fulfils all their specific requirements. 

Our rapidly expanding client list includes institutions such as the University of East London, plus leading healthcare brands including Lloyds Pharmacy and the NHS

So, to learn more about our animation services, or find out what our team can offer your organisation, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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I’m Jack, the Motion Director here at OK Social. I’ve been working in the world of motion design and animation for nearly 10 years. I had the pleasure of working with leading agencies and brands around the world, such as Samsung, Ford, Shell, Deliveroo, and Starbucks, to name a few.

From a young age, I’ve always been interested in animation, from making stop-motion films in my room as a kid to learning animation on my first computer. It started as a passion and still is to this day. Part of what I do now is more than just animation. I help craft the narratives of the stories we tell to ensure they make an impact to the audience and remain worthy of their attention.

So how do I do that? It starts with asking the right questions, leading to solving the right problems. First, diagnose what the problem is. Then, we can start to see if we can help. I believe that communication plays a key role in delivering a smooth and successful project. Looking into the future, I’m excited to expand my knowledge into creating more engaging stories that make a difference.