Medical eLearning narration is a specific, exciting avenue for voiceover work. In my 25 years as an award-winning female voice over artist, I have been deeply involved in its performance. The content has changed over the years. It’s evolved from a top-down audiovisual reflection of textbook information (fondly referred to in the field and “text and next”) to enhanced story use, more interaction, and thoughtful appropriate use of gamification. In recent posts, I’ve gone over how to pursue a career in medical voice over, and where to look for work in the industry as well. Here is a follow-up on ten different types of medical eLearning narration.
Whether the content is prepared for an M.D. who needs to learn about cutting edge procedures, an out-patient with a new piece of medical equipment to figure out, a pharmaceutical sales or medical device rep, or a student of the life sciences, medical e-Learning touches nearly every corner of the medical industry and is constantly growing. In fact, the growth in online medical learning has doubled in the last ten years, partially due to the catalytic effect of the pandemic, but also as a testament to its effectiveness from a cost/benefit analysis. The focus takes many forms. In a broad sense, here are ten types of medical eLearning seen most frequently:
Pharmaceutical (drugs, biologics, gene therapy)
Procedural (surgical, prophylactic, management, palliative)
CME (continuing medical education)
Policy (hospital, insurance, clinics)
Clinical trials results
Mechanism of action
Treatment and/or competitive landscape views,
Anatomy/physiology and disease state
From a learner’s point of view, the trend for more online medical training is not seen as a replacement for in-person learning, but as an enhanced adjunct. The educator’s job then shifts from one of disseminating information (which is more the realm of the eLearning content creator) to one of facilitating learning. To that end, among the thousands of eLearning programs I have narrated in the past few years, three main trends have picked up speed in medical e-Learning:
Animated Videos in the Medical Field
Animated medical e-Learning content that can be used in a wide variety of settings to visually demonstrate everything from cellular mechanisms, new medical or surgical techniques, drug delivery. They are especially useful for subjects that aren’t easily captured by camera. Although live-action (real people-real equipment) still dominates instructional videos when it comes to the operation of hospital equipment, instructing patients on how to use their equipment, and informing children on medical conditions, this is another area where animation is claiming an increasing portion of this creative direction.
Life Sciences Podcasts
Often geared towards doctors, nurses, other health care practitioners, and pharma and medical device sales reps, medical podcasts are a convenient and portable method of e-Learning. The world has embraced podcasts. We love our specialty shows. Podcasts fit our lifestyle. They especially facilitate multi-tasking for a doctor’s busy schedule, and their appeal to the broader public at large is also evidenced by an increase of general interest in the latest medical news and trends. Recent medical podcasts I’ve participated in include several episodes for the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) and a wonderful series on genetics for a major pharmaceutical company.
Audiobooks and Animated Textbooks
Just like podcasts, medical audiobooks are a convenient method of e-learning for the student, doctor or nurse on the go, and a welcome source of vital information to anyone in the industry. The subject matter runs the gamut from experiential memoirs and insights from health care practitioners in the field, to procedural textbooks, to an exciting new product I’ve been narrating the past few years: an animated textbook. Smart Biology (the company I worked with) is blending animation and narration and producing college-level textbooks on biology and other life sciences subjects. Based on the premise of helping the student get-there-quicker by taking the work out of visualizing processes not visible to the human eye, (historical, environmental, molecular, and cellular processes) Smart Biology textbooks enable the student to concentrate on the processes and build upon what is already known.