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Medical animations and surgical visualisation with MedFilm

You’re sitting in front of the doctor’s table in a hospital. The doctor has just spent the past half hour explaining the procedure you will undergo to solve a medical problem that you experience. It sounds complicated — there are a few things you have to do to prepare, some foods to watch out for, and a recovery process of a few months afterwards. You will later come home to only be bombarded with a series of questions from your friends and family, who are all curious and have somehow managed to ask the questions which you didn’t think of asking earlier. It also doesn’t help that their native language isn’t English.

Four years ago, this was exactly the problem that Erik Kylen, a small team in Sweden, and myself working remotely set out to solve. The solution was a series of animated videos to explain various medical issues in simple terms. A doctor could use these videos to help guide patients, and patients could then watch these videos from the comfort of their own home. This is MedFilm.

MedFilm Logo

Each video starts with a gentle description of the various body parts involved in the procedure to introduce the required medical terminology. This is followed by an explanation of how these parts relate to the ailment at hand. The patient is then reminded of the various preparatory steps they need to take before the procedure, such as fasting, or drinking fluids. The surgical procedure is then shown, heavily tested to maintain medical accuracy whilst ensuring that the patient does not see anything gruesome. Finally, the video describes the recovery process, and the steps the patient can take to expedite it.

These videos are simple to understand, are accessible with subtitles and translations into many languages, and tailored for specific medical practices in localised hospitals and countries. Each hospital and country has their own preferred ways of doing things, and these videos accomodate that fact.

A doctor from a participating hospital can share a link to their patient, or interactively use the video during the briefing process on a tablet. A patient can later watch it again to refresh their memory, or reshare it with friends and family.

MedFilm surgical videos on various tablets

Let’s see a demonstration video (and yes, videos can be embedded with custom branding into a hospital or clinic’s website!). Below is the video created for an appendectomy. Usually, getting your appendix removed is a pretty safe, standard procedure, and happens pretty soon after you figure out you have a problem. Most people have also heard of it, which makes it a great procedure to demonstrate.

Here’s the video! Click play below and learn about an appendectomy!

MedFilm is steadily growing and now has a repository of 40 videos covering topics from cardiology to otorhinolaryngology (I’m not a doctor, so to me that’s a very complicated word!), used in clinics across Scandinavia. I’m proud of the service, and happy that it is able to help patients. If you’re interested are are involved in the health industry, you can contact MedFilm here and we can explore opportunities!

Dion Moult

I've been developing software for well over 10 years, work as an architect (not the computer kind, the regular sort), and am classically trained as a pianist. I try to do the right thing when I get the chance in my field, such as through contributing to open-source communities and promoting sustainable living.

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