5 Educational Online Heart and Cardiology Animations and Videos

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There exist online many high-quality websites from trusted sources that feature videos and animated depictions of the inner workings of the heart and the functions of the various components of the circulatory system.

A high-speed Internet connection may very well be a cardiologist’s best and most powerful patient education tool.

There exist online many high-quality websites from trusted sources that feature videos and animated depictions of the inner workings of the heart; the functions of the various components of the circulatory system; the effects of various cardiovascular diseases and conditions, as well as the treatments that exist for them; and a host of other techniques, processes, and pathways.

Colorful educational aids that help patients visualize the complex concepts behind your descriptions and instructions can make a huge difference and help increase patients’ comfort and satisfaction with their care and help promote adherence to the treatment plan you devise with them.

We’ve highlighted some of our favorite sites for you to use during consultations and also to recommend to patients and their loved ones who are interested in doing additional research at home.

There are literally dozens of sites that offer resources similar to the five profiled here. Let us know if we missed your favorite online patient education resource so we can keep an updated list on MDNGLive.com.

The Science Museum of Minnesota created Habits of the Heart to serve as a “resource for students and teachers interested in learning about the cardiovascular and circulatory systems,” but it also makes for an excellent patient education tool, especially for children and adolescents. Visitors will find animated explanations of heart valves and how they work and how blood flows to and from the heart, an interactive model of the heart, videos of several surgeries and procedures, and more.

The Visible Heart from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute offers an animated semitransparent model that is useful for explaining the gross anatomy of the human heart. It also has an animated explanation of how the heart functions.

The Healthy Heart Animation from the Columbia University Medical Center Mechanical Circulatory Support Program is an excellent visual complement to the description of heart anatomy, physiology, and diagnostic tools also offered at the site. Front, internal, and back views of the heart’s anatomy are provided, along with physiology resources and “diagnostic views” derived from EKGs, X-rays, CAT/CT, digital echocardiograms, Doppler ultrasound, MRI, and MRA.

Hybrid Medical Animation has created the Hybrid Interactive Heart, described as “an exploration into the various and novel ways a beating heart may be visually represented using the latest technology.” Users can shift perspective from external to internal views using a nifty slider mechanism that also can be used to create a “blended combination” of the two views. It also has an animated beating heart that sports multiple-angle views of blood flow. Very cool.

The Visible Heart website from Medtronic has several useful videos and animations that can be used to walk patients through the steps of several surgical procedures, including LV lead implantation, implantation of an active fixation brady lead in the right atrial high septum, and implantation of an active fixation defibrillation lead. The site also has animated depictions of the electrical depolarization sequence during normal cardiac rhythm, atrial and ventricular fibrillation, normal and irregular heartbeat, and other topics.

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