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      Mode of Action animations (MOA’s) explain how a drug or medical device works within the body, to treat a condition, or improve health outcomes.

      You can use Mode of Action videos (MOA videos) to communicate with a huge variety of audiences, with the content adapted to the viewers’ level of understanding.

      In the Healthcare world, the level of complexity and assumed medical knowledge required will therefore vary. For instance the general public will require different messaging compared to industry media, or HCPs (Health Care Practitioners).

      What do they do?

      Typically healthcare, medical, pharmaceutical companies, and health charities will commission MOA videos. Though, during the COVID-19 crisis news broadcasters widely used MOA animations to explain how coronavirus operates and how vaccines might work.

      For pharmaceuticals and manufacturers an MOA video needs to educate an audience, but it also needs to tell a story. An MOA should communicate the challenge and opportunity, the significance of the treatment and how it works. To put it another way: this is the BIG moment when years of medical research and financial investment are put on stage. These years of hard work will be summarised in just a minute or two of content! It should leave viewers understanding the relevance of the technology and feeling excited about the possibilities that any research or treatment now bring.

      Knowing your audience is key

      As MOA video audiences can vary so much, the complexity of the content, and the type of language used, should also vary accordingly.

      At LIQUONA, we believe that no matter how complex the content,  no MOA video should be dull.

      Unfortunately, far too many MOA videos are lack-lustre. The opportunity is often missed to explain to the world with fanfare and conviction the significance of the treatment or medical breakthrough that has been achieved. Intelligent content does not have to be dry, boring or poorly presented – so why is it so often?

      A fear of dumbing down the science is one possible reason for poorly produced MOA videos. However, in reality there is no reason why MOA videos cannot be a compelling and engaging visual feast as well as being fully informative.  There are many styles of MOA video which can bring the content alive and many ways to innovate the traditional MOA format.

      1. Whiteboard MOA Video

      Back in ye olde days hand drawn whiteboard animations were the norm. It required careful lighting to avoid shadows and somewhat gymnastic placement of a camera over the artist and their whiteboard, tricky because the camera and the artist’s head both wanted to occupy the same position facing the artwork!

      Now, a more common approach is to generate the entire animation digitally. It is still possible to use hand-drawn assets sketched on a tablet, but now these are  composited together in animation software. This fully digital approach allows a greater freedom for the viewer’s perspective (still referred to as the ‘camera’) to move around the picture as the montage grows. Artistic mistakes and smudges are much more easily avoided too. Often animators will still add a hand holding a pen. This is then sped up, giving the impression that an artist is still drawing the illustrations by hand on paper.


      whiteboard animation

      Source: LIQUONA for Four Health / Actelion

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      2. 2D MOA Animations

      2D animation is more cost effective than 3D animation because it’s quicker to produce. These animations may lack the ability to fully visualise the form of the cells and other organic structures. However, it gains in the simplicity it employs when visualising structures in just two dimensions.

      Typically 2D animations are fully digital creations, but there is no reason why they cannot incorporate and montage multimedia. Photo assets and live action footage can be ways to innovate the MOA format – go multimedia! Again, a strong design style and concept is vital to avoid a 2D animation that looks like a moving powerpoint presentation.

      Source: LIQUONA FOR GSK

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      3. 3D MOA animations

      3D motion graphics are a hugely popular choice for MOA videos because it allows our microscopic world to be replicated and explained visually.

      Realistic replicas of the most complex, fluid and organic processes can be convincingly recreated with stunning precision and beauty. Just like 2D animation, 3D animation ranges in the cost to produce it, depending on its complexity and production values. However, the upper end of 3D will become more costly than other formats.


      cell structure low poly animation

      Source: LIQUONA for SEQUES / Novartis

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      The MOA style that you choose will be determined by the content you want to convey, your budget and your deadline.

      But none of these factors should mean that your MOA video should be dull and boring.

      Need some ideas for your MOA video? Contact LIQUONA here: