Visualizing Medical Research

Making complex medical research accessible is a difficult task. It takes both art and science to present clinical trial results in a concise, engaging manner. And effectively communicating research requires sensitivity to the rational and the emotional aspects of the information.

The cliché scientist of the popular imagination would be expected to overvalue the rational. Not true for Dr. Methodius G. Tuuli, MD, MPH of Washington University School of Medicine, who requested a video highlighting results of a two-year clinical trial, Comparing Skin Antiseptic Agents at Cesarean Delivery.

“StoryTrack immediately understood my content needs and the reason we pursued the research. They helped me envision the visual narrative; carefully detailing the research data and creating an engaging story suitable for the medical community and Congress”, said Dr. Tuuli.

Clinical Trial Video

In March 2017, Dr. Tuuli learned his team was honored with a Clinical Research Forum Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award. The team’s ground-breaking research focused on the use of chlorhexidine, or substituting alcohol for traditional iodine as an antiseptic. Using alcohol as an antiseptic and surgical-site infection preventative for Caesarian births was revolutionary, and had significant impact on the health of new mothers.

Dr. Tuuli was invited to the Research Forum award ceremony. He was asked to show a 60-second video that precisely and succinctly detailed his clinical trial and its results. He needed a quick two-week turn around for the complete video scripting, shooting, and production.

Dr. Tuuli engaged StoryTrack to accurately present the importance of the research findings, while capturing the emotional impact of the health benefits on new moms and their newborns. Most video submissions were simple headshots of the clinical trial lead detailing their team’s research findings.  Good rational detail…but with little emotional impact.  StoryTrack blended Dr. Tuuli’s scripted address with impactful b-roll footage that included Chlorhexidine–alcohol  antiseptic applied to two different moms and research lab activity. Dr. Tuuli was shown evaluating trial results, and healthy moms appeared, interacting with their babies.


 The video was shown in Washington D.C. during the Achievement Awards Presentation to over 900 scientific peers.  Additionally, the video accompanied press releases, social media and online content to engage local and national press.  Perhaps most importantly, the video was presented in front of Congress as part of the Clinical Research Forum’s validation for upcoming Federal medical research funding.

“The quality of the video submission far-exceeded my expectations. I came to StoryTrack with a very short deadline and the entire team reacted quickly and professionally. They understood how important this submission was to me and jumped-through-hoops to make sure an award-winning video was presented. They owned the content and the video’s end results.  They acted as if they were part of my research team”, said Dr. Tuuli.

Clinical Trial Video | Other Applications

Since the award event, the video submission has been used on the Washington University School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology website, in emails, blogs, e-newsletters, and for development efforts.

StoryTrack was honored to play a small part in this critical success story.  Yes, it can be challenging to humanize something as complex as a clinical trial in 60 seconds. But mixing art and science…or perhaps art with science…helps show the rational and the emotional impact of research.

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Interested in learning more about how a strong clinical trial video can positively impact your communication, presentation, or recruitment strategy? Give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to hear from you.

About the Author

Lori Dowd

Lori Dowd is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of StoryTrack Studio. For over 20 years, she has directed and produced programming for a range of corporate, non-profit, online and broadcast partner/client.