The use of Animation and graphics is extending beyond the conventional fields of media and entertainment – film making, gaming and advertising. For years, Animation and multimedia have been used to tell stories, convey messages and entertain. Today, Animation is also being used to educate, research, simulate and more. It is making inroads into areas such as Science and Technology, Retail, Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Healthcare. A range of Animation techniques – 2D, 3D, 4D and Flash combined with advances in technology are driving new applications for animation, even as “Medical” is emerging as one of the fastest growing verticals of the animation market globally.
This was highlighted during a presentation made during the 21st Anniversary Celebrations of Creative Multimedia Group held on 20th July, 2019 at Ravindra Bharathi. (Creative Multimedia Group runs the best animation college Hyderabad can be proud of.) The presentation was made by Dr. Neeraj Raj, a pioneering expert in Multimedia + Animation and a distinguished speaker at several national and International forums on Digital Medical Education. He holds the distinction of setting up Andhra Pradesh’s first Multimedia Studio and one of the first Animation companies in India. An accomplished artist, his cartoons have been published in leading publications and exhibited at the World Humour Conference.
Dr. Neeraj graduated as Best Outgoing Student from Osmania Medical College and went on to establish “Medisys”, the first and largest ever MOOC for Medicine offering over 150 SmarTeach Online courses. He also set up the first ever Virtual Medical University offering PG, diploma and CME courses and is the proud recipient of the “Vaidyashree Award” for outstanding contributions to medical education. Eminently qualified to hold forth on medical animation, Dr. Neeraj was invited as a special guest for the celebrations, during which he delivered an in-depth presentation on how this emerging discipline is taking shape.
Dr. Neeraj Raj is at the forefront of the medical animation revolution in India, having established Immertive Pvt. Ltd., an enterprise specializing in creating immersive experiences in healthcare using Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) technologies. Stating that Animation is no more just about entertainment, he said: specializations such as Medical Animation are gaining ground as distinct verticals and helping expand the animation sector in India and across the world. In fact, the time is not far away when we will see every animation institute in Hyderabad and India imparting special courses in medical animation.
Offering an immersive learning experience for animation students of Creative Multimedia, India’s most sought-after digital media catalyst, Dr. Neeraj screened a series of animation films showing the practical benefits of medical animation and stating: “To put it simply, medical animation has made it easier to explain/articulate things that were not possible earlier.” The animation films screened by Dr. Neeraj offered an easy-to-understand and crystal clear view of how medicines work inside the body, how surgical procedures are done and how the brain reacts to different stimuli and other physiological changes.
Elaborating on the growing role of Animation in healthcare, he said: “Hitherto a niche area, medical animation is now gaining increasing importance with the advent of new-age, game-changing enterprises in the healthcare space.
Globally, some of the major companies in the medical animation space include Immertive Pvt. Ltd. (India), INVIVO Communications (Canada), Random42 Scientific Communication (U.K.), Animated Biomedical Productions (Australia), AXS Studio (Canada) and a clutch of US companies such as Hybrid Medical Animation, Ghost Productions, Scientific Animations, Radius Digital Science, Nucleus Medical Media, Visible Body, Elara Systems, XVIVO Scientific Animation, Blausen Medical Communications, Trinsic Medical Animation and Viscira. (Source: https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/medical-animation-market-223188473.html)
These companies are testing the limits and leveraging the practicality of animation for various purposes including: educating patients, making audio-video demonstrations – simulating a medical device or action of a drug on the body, cellular/molecular animation, emergency medical care education, surgical training, forensic reconstruction and more.
Specifically, the therapeutic areas where medical animation is being used include: Cardiology, Dental, Gastroenterology, Gynaecology, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Oncology, Orthopaedics and Plastic Surgery. Medical Animation in being used by many players across the healthcare eco-system including hospitals, medical device manufacturers, medical academies, life science companies, medico-legal firms, forensic departments and insurance companies.
Medical Animation is benefiting modern healthcare immensely. Though intended for different audiences, it is most commonly used as an instructional/educational tool for medical professionals and patients.
Art and science have combined and complemented each other to enable medical animation. In collaboration with medical experts, 3D Animation Artists and Medical Illustrators are bringing their knowledge of human anatomy, colour, light and matter to create medical animation. While continuous advancements in technology have helped shape CG (Computer Graphic), the combined effect of these developments is evident in visual communication across industries and verticals including medicine. The foundation for medical animation is medical illustration which is an industry-recognized specialization in numerous colleges around the world: The Department of Art for Medicine at the John Hopkins Medical School, U.S.A. is a popular example.
With rising adoption of medical animation by healthcare and pharmaceutical companies; influx of start-ups; expansion of the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries and rising population and lifestyle diseases coupled with the growing number of surgeries across the world, the medical animation market is expected to touch USD 301.3 Million by the year 2021, growing at a CAGR of 20.8% during the forecast period 2016 – 2021.
Current trends and future projections indicate that Medical Animation is expanding rapidly and is poised for a bigger presence as the sector throws up a plethora of attractive job opportunities. Medical Illustration and Medical Animation are in-demand skills with great scope for growth due to the dearth of trained talent. Being a fast-growing, sunrise sector, Medical Animation makes for a promising career pathway. And pursuing an industry-recognized animation degree course in India is the best way to get started.