3D Imagery and the Role of the Biomedical Visual Communicator in Biotechnology

Seeing is believing…or more importantly, understanding. The saying is never truer than when the content that you have to believe in, or understand, involves complex, scientific processes that, in real life, you could never see with the naked eye. Not only would those processes be nearly impossible for the average person to see (barring state-of-the-art imaging technology such as electron microscopes), but, if by some chance you could actually see them, it would also be very difficult to interpret what they were doing.

Such is often the problem in the biotechnology and pharmacology industries, whose researchers are working on innovative new drugs, cures, and instrumentation that operate on the cellular level. The right content specialist can play a vital role in ensuring that these clients do not miss their ZMOT.

When the client’s message involves proving to the FDA that their product should be approved, or to a prospective investor that they are not taking too great a risk, that ZMOT could make the difference between life and death for a company. So, when that message also involves a microscopic process that neither investor nor FDA official can see or understand, they need something more than a written explanation. They need a clear, visual story to explain the complexities of that process. Here is where 3D imagery can play an important role.

The right content specialist in such a case can, not only illustrate or animate the process, but can also translate the information into a language of visuals that the audience crucial to the ZMOT can understand. There is a very specialized field made up of medically and scientifically trained illustrators and animators that create visuals such as these every day. They are Biomedical Visual Communicators, more commonly known as Medical Illustrators. Having spent several years studying alongside medical students to learn the fundamentals of science, medicine, and anatomy these specialists are trained to help biotechnologists, pharmacologists, and physicians to communicate their message in the clearest way possible, using 3D imagery, traditional illustrations and animations.

Every day, millions of people treat their medical conditions by taking medications to alleviate symptoms or use internal 3D Imaging Medical Illustratorsdevices to regulate conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. In many cases, those treatments are available on the market today because a biomedical visual communicator worked very closely with the companies developing them, creating imagery that illustrates exactly how that treatment affects the body.

Medications as common as acetaminophen or ibuprofen work at very specific cellular sites in the body, prompting cascades of effects that need to be understood in order for those medications to be deemed safe. Even external treatments such as radio-frequency therapy used to treat sports injuries trigger cascades of metabolic processes that must be evaluated before they can be released into the market. A biomedical illustrator can help clarify these mechanisms of action, speeding up the process of approval and bringing these treatments more readily to the market by assuring that the information—the content—is clear at that ZMOT.

About the Author

Myriam Kirkman-Oh – Guest Blogger & M.S. Medical Illustration
Myriam Kirkman-Oh is a medical illustrator and animator in the Bay Area. She is co-owner of KO Studios Medical Animation and Illustration, a company that produces award winning, high-end images in all media for the Biotechnology, Pharmacology, and Healthcare industries, among others. KO Studios can be found by visiting www.kostudios.com.

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