How Medical Video & Animation Will Improve A Doctor’s Informed Consent Process

Your obligation as a physician:

If you’re a medical practitioner or researcher you understand your primary responsibility is to that patient who sits in front of you. You also understand the importance of informed consent for your practice or medical study. Informed consent is more than just getting a patient’s signature on a form. Apart from protecting you legally informed consent has been shown to improve patient outcomes because patients who understand their diagnoses and treatment options are shown to have better recoveries.

But how does a medical practitioner know their informed consent process is being handled properly and is effective?

The criteria for a successful informed consent process include:

  •      The patient must understand the information being presented
  •      The patient must be given enough information and at an understandable level
  •      The patient must be competent enough to make a decision
  •      The patient must understand the consequences of their decision
  •      The patient must be allowed to make their decision without coercion
  •      The patient must indicate their consent to treatment


The tools available for informed consent:

Meeting this checklist can be a challenge especially in a modern practice that might be providing for a multi-cultural population. The typical tools medical practitioners use for informed consent are medical posters, brochures, physiological models and medical imaging such as x-rays. Most importantly the physician will also talk with the patient and answer questions. But another tool that’s becoming widely used is video. Adding patient education medical video and animation to the informed consent process has several advantages:

  • It can explain the same condition and treatment options to multiple patients saving the physician time
  • It can include 3D animations that show conditions and treatments in an understandable way. The camera/viewpoint can be placed anywhere so that the viewer can clearly see the surgery/procedure
  • Animation is a great medium that can show detail that live action can’t. Animation can show cross sections and see through objects to clearly depict procedures which would be impossible to show with live action
  • Doctors and animators work closely to visually translate the procedures into visuals that are understandable to the patient
  • Animation can leave out the less palatable aspects of surgery such a blood and open tissue
  • Many people are visual learners and will retain information better after watching a video as opposed to reading a brochure
  • Multiple videos can be stored on compact devices to cover a range of conditions and treatments
  • Video can be deployed across multiple channels both within the practice and across the Internet
  • Video can be provided in multiple languages for a multi-cultural population

Case study – The American Academy of Ophthalmology:

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has been using medical animation videos for patient education for over two decades. In the past these videos have been formatted as mini-documentaries that covered conditions such as glaucoma and procedures such as LASIK. Last year the Academy introduced a new video format of short, highly targeted videos specifically intended to be used as part of the informed consent process. The scripts for these videos were approved by OMIC (the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company.) As an example the Academy now offers a collection of 13 videos each addressing a specific treatment for cataract. They also have collections of videos available (through the Academy online store) for glaucoma, refractive, retina, oculoplatics and pediatrics. Each collection of medical videos is short, very specific, easily understood and designed to be a part of the informed consent process. At the end of each video the patient is asked to direct any questions to their doctor. If used properly, these videos become part of the practice’s documented informed consent process for each patient. This documentation along with records of videos viewed by patients can also be stored in the practice’s EHR. With video as one tool, an informed consent checklist would look like this:

  •      Consultation with physician
  •      Diagnosis
  •      Treatment options discussed with patient
  •      Written materials given to patient
  •      Medical Video provided to patient
  •      Physician answers patient’s questions
  •      Decision on course of treatment made between patient and physician
  •      Informed consent paperwork signed by patient
  •      Treatment begins


Watch a Medical Video Powered by Animation in Action [For AAO]


Get started with video for your informed consent:

Aatma Studio has produced more than 50 videos for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and has deep experience providing medical animation and videos for the healthcare industry. Contact our team who has worked with the Academy for over 10 years to find out how informed consent medical videos are created and how to deploy these videos within your practice. Our team is adept at collaborating with medical professionals and comprehending their needs and vocabulary. If you’re a medical practitioner you understand your primary responsibility is to that patient who sits in front of you. Make sure they are well informed.

Would you like to understand further if video and animation is right for you? Send us a mail to (we revert soon), or alternatively if you’d like to talk to us, schedule a free consultation with us.