How to Plan for a Surgical Technique Video

Let’s say you’re a product manager for a medical device and you need to create a video to demonstrate your product in an actual case. You contact the key-opinion-leader (KOL) surgeon, who agrees to participate, and sets off to find a suitable patient for the procedure, along with some potential dates for the shooting.

Now what?

Before determining how to approach a shoot, it’s important to ask a few key questions: Who is the target audience, and how will the video be used? Is it exclusively for training, or will it be shown to possible future investors? Will sales reps share it with surgeons? Or will it be shown to potential patients through a website?

You also must consider the complexity of the procedure and determine the critical steps to be captured by the camera crew, for instance:

What does the product look like and what supporting instrumentation will need to be shown and used in the case?

  1. Will fluoroscopy be used?
  2. Will there be other digital imaging used that will need to be captured, such as IVUS, OCT or ultrasound?
  3. Will a heart mapping system be used?
  4. Does the case require the patient to go on bypass, or will the patient be lightly sedated and awake during the case?
  5. How will the patient be positioned?
  6. How many anatomical sites need to be recorded?
  7. Will the back table, where the medical instrumentation and product are prepared, need to be recorded?
  8. How long is a typical case?
  9. Does it make sense to interview the surgeon before and/or after the case?  If so, should there be a set of questions to elicit the desired responses?
  10. Do you also want to capture patient testimonials?

With so much to consider in a procedural shoot, it’s important to find a video production company with operating room experience. Remember, the company you hire needs to know exactly what they are doing once they enter the cath lab or the operating room, because a lot is at stake. When vetting your options, here are some important questions to ask:

  1. Have you recorded in a cath lab or operating room before?
  2. Do you understand sterile technique?
  3. Have you worked in lead before?
  4. Are you certified through Rep Tracks or VendorMate?
  5. Are your immunizations up to date?
  6. Do you have samples of your work beyond what is featured on your website?
  7. Does your company have full time employees that will handle the filming or do you sub-contract that out?
  8. Are you able to provide multiple cameras?
  9. Do you have high definition cameras and recorders to capture any digital outputs such as flouro, echo, OCT, IVUS or ultrasound images?
  10. Are able to sync your cameras and recorders with redundant time code?
  11. Can you provide references from previous jobs?
  12. Does your company have liability insurance? At what limits?

At Meditech we’re asked these questions all the time and understand the importance of experience.

The day before the shoot, be sure to schedule a walk-through with the crew and hospital staff. During this meeting you will be able to see the room where the case will take place, understand where the patient will be positioned, look at camera positions and test any imaging equipment feeds which will need to be captured during the case.

Now that you understand all the aspects of the case and have found a qualified video crew you are ready to roll!!

Meditech Communications is a digital agency specializing in surgical technique video production and method-of-action 3D animation for the medical device world.