By Greg Ball, President of Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
What are explainer videos, and why should you consider using them? Simply put, explainer videos are videos that are designed to explain something. They usually include animation, though some don’t. Explainer videos are designed to make difficult subjects easier to understand. They can also lighten a serious subject without trivializing it.
When used for the medical community, they can accomplish a variety of purposes which I’ll discuss in more depth below. The important thing to know is that they can help patients:
- Understand their condition.
- Understand procedures and treatments.
- Evaluate their options.
- Make difficult decisions.
- Learn about self-care.
- Learn about a doctor, practice, hospital or treatment center
Although explainer videos are often fully animated, they can combine a variety of techniques. Animation is usually one of them. They can also include live actors or spokespeople, and 3-D animations. However, most explainer videos are made with 2-D animation.
You can find many non-animated medical explainer videos throughout webmd.com.
Why would you choose to use animated videos for these purposes?
One reason is that most people find that animation puts them at ease. It brings us back to our younger years. This can help lighten the mood and hold the attention of the viewer.
To explain more about why animation particularly lends itself to explainer videos, I’ll share the strategy from one of our clients.
We created a medical explainer video for them designed to help pregnant women make an educated decision. Their patients had to decide whether or not to have genetic testing to determine the likelihood that their baby might have Down Syndrome. This is a complex topic. It’s also a topic that can be considered stressful for the women making the decision.
We designed an explainer video that used a combination of a live action, 2D animation and explainer video-style animation. The client wanted an explainer video animation style to be used for some of the video. She felt that this all taken together would help make a difficult topic easy to understand. It would also help make a very serious topic easier to handle on an emotional level.
The video has been successful. You can take a look at a portion of it here:
So, there are some things that we can use an animated explainer video for that might be difficult to accomplish in the real world.
For example, by using explainer videos, we can show things that can’t easily be shown in real life.
Think about the nature of animation. It can be used to display things visually that can’t be seen naturally. In the above video, you can see what genes look like. Another animated video we created shows the various layers of a building wall sealed with a certain kind of paint. A third video showed a man’s internal organs. You can see that if it can be drawn, it can be shown in an explainer video.
Though animation is often thought of as something to be used for children, the topics I mentioned above are very adult topics. Yet they were explained successfully using animation.
Animation medical explainer videos can make a complex topic easier to understand.
With some good writing, explainer videos can break down a topic into small pieces. It can then be explained both visually and audibly. These videos can be used to make highly complex topics easier for patients to grasp.
Explainer videos can add humor or lightness to a difficult subject.
Granted, some subjects shouldn’t be joked about. Animated explainer videos are not necessarily appropriate for every subject. However, for many topics, even some relatively serious ones, they can be helpful.
We’ve found that by using animation along with relatable characters, an explainer video can be used to effectively lighten the mood. Check out this portion of a video designed to explain the “Path to dryness” for male bladder issues. You’ll see that it uses a relatable character, and some subtle humor.
So, when used appropriately, animation and humor can help patients to deal with what they’re seeing and learning.
Animated explainer videos can standardize the way something is explained.
By creating and showing explainer videos, some of the pressure is taken off of doctors. It helps the patients as well. By using an explainer video rather than explaining verbally each time, you can maintain consistency. A subject will be explained fully and correctly the first time, each time. This ensures that the patient gets the best explanation possible.
Of course, it’s still important to keep the personal touch between a doctor and patient. After the patient watches the video, a medical professional should make themselves available to answer any follow-up questions the patient might have. And really, nothing can take the place of an in-person doctor/patient relationship.
Explainer videos can address patients’ common concerns and anxieties.
With years of experience to go by, most medical professionals will know what their patients commonly worry about. These subjects can be addressed by an explainer video. With some forethought and sensitivity, these videos can help calm fears. They can educate the patient. This combined with a caring medical professional’s support can go a long way towards helping a patient cope.
So, should doctors, practices and hospitals use medical explainer videos?
In my opinion, yes. This type of video can be a wonderful tool to support both doctors and patients. The use of these animated videos is growing within the medical field because of the positive results they’re having.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Greg Ball is the founder and President of Ball Media Innovations, a full-service Miami video production company. One of their main specialties is video for the medical community, and his company offers national service for explainer videos, video/film translation (dubbing and subtitles), video editing, and video studio design and building. Ball Media Innovations also specializes in video production for training, marketing, social media, websites, conventions, conferences, and tradeshows. Prior to starting this company, Greg was the Manager of Worldwide Video Communications for Burger King World Headquarters. To contact Greg, call 954-432-1274.
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