Author: Dr. Philip Zabel, MD, MBA*
Medical animations can help you market your Medtech more effectively.
According to marketing statistics, video has become the most commonly used format in content marketing, overtaking blogs and infographics. Across social channels, photos and other images are the most-used content to increase audience engagement (HubSpot, 2020).
As an MD/MBA, I strive to add value to society using my unique combination of knowledge and skills to promote clear communication. I’m part of the management team at Artery Studios Inc., a medical illustration and animation company that creates content-specific visual solutions for medical device firms. Companies like Artery help communicate the technology and utility of a product, in a way that’s understandable to investors, potential purchasers and other key stakeholders. We’ve seen numerous innovation companies bolster their commercialization activities, using medical visuals to showcase their product’s competitive advantage.
This article will explore two examples of companies that used our cutting-edge medical animations to create marketing collaterals and to demonstrate a step-by-step surgical workflow (instructions for use) in dynamic ways.
Develop assets for your sales team
When information is presented through combined visual and oral modalities, there is significantly increased retention, for a longer period of time, with a 600% increase in retention of information as compared to oral presentations alone. (Weiss-McGrath 1989)
Sales teams need to grab attention and leave a lasting impression that brings results. Conavi Medical approached us to assist in making that impression, for their Foresight ICE System technology. The company developed an innovative catheter-based ultrasound imaging system that provides both 2D and 3D views of cardiac anatomy. They needed our help to highlight their competitive advantage.
The system provides a 3D view of the inside of the blood vessel topography and provides a much wider field of view compared to other 2D devices.
Our studio created a dynamic animation that demonstrates their product’s technology in a striking and clear manner. It shows how the variable speed rotation of the ultrasound transducer is used to gather and stack conical-shaped images to create an accurate three-dimensional view. We chose a see-through radiological ‘look’, to appreciate the action of the device and to create a subliminal link to it being imaging technology. Cut-away views show the interior anatomy of the heart that the transducer images, while close-up views communicate the features of that sophisticated transducer and its wider angle of view.
Graphically portraying the details of Conavi’s technology allowed the company to differentiate their product from the competition, clearly communicating the sophisticated mode of action more effectively than words alone could possibly convey. They showcase this animation on their website and their sales team uses it as a communication tool during meetings and at conferences (including virtual) to engage prospects.
WHY USE ANIMATIONS LIKE THIS?
When combined with a voice-over, this type of animation is a powerful tool to enhance understanding and increase retention of the features of a product. To ensure 100% fidelity to the device components and how they function, we use the CAD (or STL) files to render 3D virtual models completely accurately – as we did with the Foresight system. Prospects, approached by your sales team armed with this kind of dynamic animation for their online or in-person engagements, are left with a greater understanding of the technology and why your device will make a difference in outcomes.
Communicate surgical details to specialists
It is much easier to market invented tools with a clean, clear, professional concept illustration than just a description (Oxner, 2018).
Creating detailed Instructions for Use guidelines is something we did for Intellijoint Surgical, who asked us to help communicate the ease of use of their Intellijoint HIP system. To promote it to surgeons, they needed a visual tool that effectively showed how simple/straightforward the system is to use as well as how compact it is.
This animation we created (edited for brevity), concisely demonstrates how Intellijoint HIP works: the main components; how they attach to the patient; calibration of the devices; points of measurement; and how surgical data is captured to maximize successful joint replacement. The value proposition of the device includes increased accuracy of key measurements, including for: cup position; leg length and offset; and hip center of rotation.
Since accuracy of these measurements is key to optimizing results of hip arthroplasty – including minimizing potential dislocation and impingement risks, while maximizing range of motion – it is important to highlight to prospects (Bhaskar, 2017). The animation focuses the viewer on the salient surgical issues to assist in understanding how the system is used and how it improves outcomes. As with the previous animation, this movie incorporates detailed 3D views of the device components, to allow surgeons to fully understand what it would entail to incorporate the product into their workflow.
WHY USE ANIMATIONS LIKE THIS?
Clear visual communications like this stand out. Seeing the device in action helps a physician feel more comfortable with the proposed improvement to their approach. Animated Instructions
for Use communicate the clear workflow involved. Intellijoint has mounted the movie on their website as the header video and also uses it as a sales tool to demystify how the system works.
Work with qualified medical illustrators
Our brain is primarily an image processor not a word processor – much of our sensory cortex is devoted to vision. (Aisami, 2015).
The team at Artery Studios is passionate about healthcare, medicine and technology and believes strongly in the power of medical images to bolster learning and communication in the device arena. Visual communications facilitate understanding of complex technology, elucidate “ease of use” to medical specialists, and in general, increase retention of the differentiators related to a specific product. When not able to attend conferences in person, sending a link to a striking and accurate animation of your product is a great way to engage potential investors and prospects. Sales teams can integrate animated scenes into their conversations to add value to the dynamic, and marketing teams can integrate medical animations and illustrations into numerous initiatives. The companies outlined in this article, and hundreds more, have utilized Artery Studios to maximize their communications – and outcomes. Contact us with any questions.
Aisami, R.S., (2015). Learning styles and visual literacy for learning and performance.
Procedia Social and Behavioural Sciences, vol 176 (2015), pp.538-545.
Bhaskar D, Rajpura A, Board T. Current Concepts in Acetabular Positioning in Total Hip
Arthroplasty. Indian J Orthop. 2017;51(4):386-396. doi:10.4103/ortho.IJOrtho_144_17
Oxner, E. A picture is worth a thousand words: The benefit of medical illustration in medical publishing. Academic Press: Author, editor and reviewer perspectives (2018), pp. 131-138
Weiss-McGrath. 1989. Weiss-McGrath Study. McGraw-Hill.
*About the Author: Dr. Philip Zabel is Manager of Operations at Artery Studios Inc., a digital media company. Artery Studios specializes in the creation of medical illustrations, animations and interactive media for medical device, advertising, pharmaceutical, broadcast, publishing, medical-legal and patient education markets.