By | Healthcare Animation

The recent phenomena that has sparked interest in everyone is artificial intelligence (AI), referring to a part of computer science where intelligent machines do the work rather than humans. AI is already used for learning, problem solving and speech recognition. This advanced technology mimics the human brain and can perform the same tasks on its own.

 

AI has become useful in many businesses as it cuts down tedious and long tasks that humans do. For instance, it is beneficial in the advertising industry, where machine learning abilities can filter through audience data and help create better campaign decisions based off of a reliable, mathematical formula. AI has also positively impacted animation and motion graphics, where it is further developing the heights to which animations can be created. Moreover, it makes the job of an animator or designer much easier now as opposed to before. They input instructions into an automated engine and the software interprets which variables are required to make the animation move.

 

Disney is known for using AI to generate storyboard animations just from scripts by using words such as “turn right” and having the animated character turn in that direction. However, it is important to note that this process is not as easy as described and requires a lot of work prior to it being able to work successfully. The Disney team explains that translating text to animation using AI is not as straightforward because certain sentences that are inputted and output animations, do not have a fixed structure. Therefore, the team had to build a neural network of different components such as a script-parsing modules that would automatically isolate relevant text from the scene and include it in the screenplay. It also included a universal language that processes complex sentences by using a set of linguistic rules that would extract information, put it into a simplified sentence and have it portrayed as an action.

 

Other fields in which animation and AI are being used together, for the betterment of society, is to create smarter cancer treatments and self-driving technology. Researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, use deep learning algorithms to obtain large amounts of data to translate it into artificial intelligence. They have even applied the algorithms to software to introduce it into the animation and gaming industry.


Image Source: https://www.itchronicles.com/automation/artificial-intelligence-future-hold/

Artificial intelligence definitely needs to be further developed but holds great potential for being the future of animation. Three ways that created an acceptance of artificial intelligence and has caused everyone to be so intrigued are:

  1.  Access to cheaper graphing processing units (GPU’s) – This has created a higher standard for better graphics in video games. As GPU’s were in demand, they became mass-produced and very common resulting in the prices decreasing, making it affordable. AI software requires a lot of processors running at the same time, which works perfectly to cluster GPU’s together to fill AI software since it is affordable and accessible.
  2. Big data- For AI to exist and continue to do so well, it needed a lot of memory space and education in which it could study a topic and perform the task it is being asked, much like the human brain, except at a much faster speed.
  3. Algorithms- For AI to react quickly, neuronets need to be stacked into layers. For example to recognize a face, neuronets first need to recognize facial features, then build many different layers before it could understand the face.

AI can improve our lives in more ways than one can imagine and as it continues breaking boundaries, especially in the field of animation and motion graphics, it foreshadows a lot of growth and long-term usage.

Important Healthcare Video Marketing Strategies to Connect with Consumers

By | Healthcare Marketing Video

Promoting healthcare through video marketing has become prevalent now more than ever. More importantly, it serves a purpose of reminding and teaching the public how important medical visits, self-care and detecting symptoms early on, before it leads to severe health issues. Healthcare production companies, such as Twisted Frame, offers video production services to reach out to a target audience through interactive animations and high-quality editing and video services. A Forbes article, Seven Key HealthCare Marketing Tips to Impact and Alter Consumer Behaviors, identifies the importance of how healthcare marketing has to firstly appeal to the emotional side of the audience so they are able to relate and connect with the content to be able to engage better. The seven strategies that impact consumer behavior when responding to healthcare marketing are:

Helathcare video marketingImage Source: https://www.emagine.com/getting-started-with-healthcare-video-marketing/

  1. Forming an emotional connection- Healthcare marketing videos specifically, need to be empathetic and genuine to connect with an audience. They need to make sure they see a purpose and change arising from the content. For instance, Twisted Frame took upon a project with Trissa where they created a series of videos portraying the effectiveness of this weight loss program. However, unlike typical weight loss videos that show before and after images, this one included interviews from patients that was a part of Trissa’s procedure. Seeing video content as opposed to a picture created a human factor and emotional connection with the audience by showing results and inspiring others.
  2.  Engaging the community- By creating a community, helps the audience feel like they are not isolated and brings people forward to take action towards improving healthcare. Moreover, marketing that makes a community feel involved and is personal, sparks a conversation among them. Forbes relayed that social media was chosen as one of the top strategies used by healthcare leaders and production companies to communicate with their consumers.
  3.  Create trust and transparency- When a video production company is transparent and honest, the audience tends to relate more and be in support of the content. The audience is now smarter and will voice their opinion if they do not agree with content or if it does not seem authentic to them. Twisted Frame creates healthcare marketing videos that are true to the company and audience by displaying what the company stands for and using the best quality animation.
  4.  Invest in mobile technology- With technology so prominent and accessible, before going to a doctor, people Google their symptoms or read other people’s blogs to see if they are struggling with similar illnesses. Virtual care gives people the control and independence to take care of their own health which reassures them as well. By investing in mobile technology, allows people to talk about healthcare and receive help across borders without having to travel.
  5.  Accessibility and affordability- Often companies use huge budgets and do not allocate it to the right parts of the entire healthcare marketing process. For example, Twisted Frame worked on a promotional animated video to introduce the famous musical, Grease in Toronto. While there was a certain budget for this video, the production company managed to stay within the given budget without compromising the quality and effects in the video. It is important for healthcare marketing companies to be accessible and affordable for their clients and to stay competitive.
  6.  Involvement with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)- A quick and promising way to make a connection with a consumer is through investing in a cause that creates a social impact either in the community or on the planet. Consumers feel better about buying into a brand when they know that the company is giving back as well. Incorporating the CSR into the companies’ marketing strategy brings attention to ways people can make a difference which attracts a larger audience.
  7.  Empower consumers- Now especially, consumers like to be independent and take control over their health. When combining social media, technology and people researching symptoms of their own health, it only makes sense for people to be drawn towards healthcare video marketing.

Why Medical Animation Has Become Such an Important Resource for Patients

By | Medical Animation

Many researchers have openly expressed the importance for animation in the healthcare field and 3D visuals. Medical students and professionals have further explained how much easier medical animations have made their lives in terms of learning and sharing information. However, the extent to how beneficial it is to patients is often not credited enough.

Some ways in which medical animations assist patients are:

  1. It provides a sense of calmness and fills in the inadequate knowledge of healthcare. For instance, patients are often diagnosed with an illness but it is either not explained to them at all, explained with missing details or the patient is too embarrassed to ask questions about it. This creates a lot of anxiety and unnecessary added stress for the patient by fearing about the unknown. Animations, as shown below, explains what asthma is, symptoms, causes and modern treatment. Seeing a visual of what is happening, makes it easier for the patient to understand.

  2. In addition to this, it helps the patient prepare for surgery. By knowing exactly what will happen during it, eliminates the tension they might feel prior to the day of the surgery. In a study conducted by Aarhus University, animations were shown pre and post surgery for those undergoing hip replacement surgery. The video displayed what happens during the surgery and what patients can expect afterwards. The results of the study depicted that the patients that saw the video were less anxious and at ease in comparison to those who had not seen it. Moreover, the study found that less pressure was put on the healthcare professionals taking care of them.
    Another example is shown in this video by the Colorectal Surgical Associates, which describes how laparoscopic colon surgery is done using 3D animations and textured visuals making it much more fascinating to see and easy to comprehend. Using simple medical terminology, by showing how the tumor is isolated and the colon is removed makes the procedure seem less overwhelming and gives the patient an idea of what to expect.



  3. Medical animations create a way for people to follow a healthy lifestyle and keep fit which is great for recovery from a surgery or preventative measures for illnesses. In the same study by Aarhus University, they used animations in telemedicine to help patients who underwent hip replacement surgery recover faster from the comfort of their home. Instead of patients spending several days in the hospital, they were sent home and watched rehabilitation exercises specific to hip surgery. According to Dr. Vesterby who carried out the study, he found that the patients felt they recovered faster as they has telemedicine as a solution for support. Additionally, they felt more confident and comforted knowing they had the training information they needed compared to those who did not. Even though it was more tasks and responsibility for the patient, telemedicine animations meant that the patient spent fewer days in a hospital bed and made them less concerned about the procedure.


  4. Medical animations are great to show children as well, as they learn in different ways than adults and are more attracted to bright colors and visuals. Especially for picky eaters or trying to include more fruits and vegetables in a child’s diet, makes it easier for them to understand the importance of this and relate to better through medical animations.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FWhXM_wpDc

  5. Mental health is a difficult illness to treat as people have different levels in the way it affects them and respond differently to various treatments. A mental health trainer working at a hospital in Melbourne stated that she often had trouble getting her patients to understand empathy through role-playing. However, she found that they responded better to and understood the process in less than three minutes by watching an animation portraying this emotion. Further, animations can be more motivating, attractive and a less intimidating way to seek medical help. For example, this short medical animation by the Department of Health in Australia, Head to Health, shows ways of finding online resources and support for mental health. 

Healthcare Animations Related to Health Literacy

By | Medical Animation
Image Source: http://medicalavatar.com/products/3-d-medical-animations/

Understanding and especially remembering web-based health information can be challenging, more so when one has little or no prior medical knowledge. In 2013, it was determined that the majority of people living in the Netherlands and the United States used the internet often to find out health- related information and according to surveys, they considered it
to be the most valuable resource to find medical information. But, a significant amount of the participants had stated that they had difficulty comprehending the web-based health information due to low health literacy. The issue with this is, now where everyone is so dependent on technology and the internet, they turn to Google for answers and are less likely to go for preventative health services for example, cancer screenings or even to the hospital if they think what they are experiencing is not serious. To reduce this disparity among people of low versus high health literacy, it was found that this generation responded less to written text and more to pictures or animations. There are different ways of studying and learning however, most health literature states that the most effective way of studying and recalling it at a later time is through animations. One of the studies conducted by Schulz and Castaneda in 2015 investigated this further where they tested three variables:

  1. Do healthcare animations improve the way people remember information?
  2. Do healthcare animations improve understanding among those with low health
    literacy?
  3. Is there a difference between health literacy groups?
    An online experiment was done consisting of 231 participants, aged 55 years or older with either high or low health literacy. There were different categories, one of spoken versus written text and the other with illustration versus animations. Participants all had the same information regarding colorectal cancer screening and were randomly introduced to one of the four categories. The results depicted that from the group of participants with low health literacy, spoken text together with animations was the most effective method to help them recall and understand information as opposed to written text. From the group that had a high health literacy rate, there was no difference displayed between how they comprehended written texts and animations. However, there was a slight difference in that they recalled more information from the animations shown compared to the written information about colorectal cancer screenings. This study, in support of many others, established that displaying information using healthcare animations improved understanding and recollection among those who had a low health literacy. As online communication is on the rise, it is important to use this platform as much as possible to transfer healthcare information and make it easily accessible to people. As shown in the studies above it is clear that animations say a 1000 words. Therefore, healthcare animations would be most useful and intriguing for online medical information, especially for those with a low health literacy.

3D Printing Advances the Healthcare Animation Industry

By | Healthcare Animation

Technology and animation is developing rapidly and creating an enhanced way to cut down a few extra steps to make one’s daily life easier.  3D printing has played a major role in improving healthcare and making it easier for medical professionals to have the resources they require. This medical technology offers many benefits even for medical educational training. It is useful in more than one way such as drug recreation, reproduction of medical equipment and proposes cheaper medical solutions. As a result, 3D healthcare animations bring life to medical procedures and devices. The Medical Futurists explains this further through a list of what can be done through 3D medical printing. These include, but do not limit:

  1. Finger Splints- They can be printed in 3D form which is cost effective and quick as it only costs approximately $0.02/ minute. This innovation can be an important development for third- world countries as it is affordable.

  2. Plaster Casts- 3D printing can finally transform the experience of breaking a bone. It models the patient’s limb that generates a personalized 3D cast. This is done through a rehabilitation module, which stimulates the muscles below the casts that prevent muscle atrophy.

  3. Prosthetics- This is becoming a global phenomenon as volunteers are travelling to various places around the world, especially developing countries, to teach others the design and process of how to build prosthetic hands. For example, 3D printing was taught in Sudan, where the war left many with amputated limbs.

  4. Surgical Preparation- This tool from 3D printing builds surgical tools specific to the patient. It helps medical professionals practice in advance for complex surgeries using 3D printed objects.

  5. Drugs- Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first 3D printing drugs. The specialty of this is each layer is printed individually helping it to dissolve faster than the average drug.

  6. Bio-materials- 3D printing has recently become an emerging application for tissue engineering. Already, researchers have printed skin, synthetic ears and have launched a bio printer kidney tissue.
Image Source: http://www.andysowards.com/blog/2018/key-ways-3d-printing-impacts-healthcare-industry/

 

Even though this technology is so advanced and outstanding, for the healthcare animation industry, it is just the beginning. It is said that in the future, sensor components, diagnostic tools and transplant-able tissues will be able to be printed and this industry will just continue to grow further. For instance, previous biomedical manufacturing began with 3D medical animations and has now moved up to 3D printed tumors. Dr. Wei Sun and a team of researchers from Drexel University in Philadelphia suggested that by biofabricating cancerous tumors in 3D, it would improve the ability of oncologists to safely destroy these specific tumors. This emerging technology would help to provide a more realistic 3D model for doctors to work on and experiment with to discover appropriate treatments. 3D medical printing has enhanced and improved the healthcare animation industry by creating interactive and accurate animations.