medical multimedia improves patient education and self-care

Most individuals experience an injury or a chronic disease  at some point in their lives. How can we help patients thrive despite illness, injury, and impairment?



Outside of the clinic, patients are responsible for maintaining their own health. Individuals with a solid understanding of their condition and how to care for it are best equipped to provide self-care. Accurate, research-based patient education is vital to increasing medical literacy in the population and promoting healthy choices among individuals.

Medical illustrators and writers meet this need by bridging the gap between physician insights and patient actions. These communication specialists are highly trained professionals with a strong grasp of medical science and expertise in designing effective instructional materials.  They transform complex, highly specialized health research into resources individuals can use to make good choices. 


Illustrators and writers carefully evaluate patient needs and craft their message to fit the  audience.

Photographs are often included in patient education materials. They help viewers develop an emotional connection to the message. However, the human body is complex, and many functions take place in environments that are visually confusing. In these cases, medical illustrators use design principles to create illustrations that clear away distractions and focus the patient’s attention on what they really need to know.

Illustrations and animations are also useful when a procedure or concept can’t be photographed, e.g., the chemical activity of a medication, or when a photo might scare the audience due to its graphic nature. For example, surgical procedures often involve blood, which can be frightening for patients to see. The use of illustrations allows physicians to communicate effectively with patients while ensuring their comfort.




Patients who have limited exposure to medical topics frequently benefit from illustrations and multimedia because these tools help patients bypass the need to learn specialized medical vocabulary. A combination of images and simple written text convey useful information clearly and to great effect. Video and narration overcome literacy barriers and ensure health parity across populations.

Multimedia and accessible writing encourage active patient investigation of health-related topics. Resources created by medical illustrators and writers  promote healthy behaviors through humor, captivating visuals, and appealing narratives. These factors boost positive emotional responses and increase engagement with the  education process. Increased engagement leads to better outcomes as patients make lifestyle changes to improve and protect their health. 

Medical illustrators and writers connect researched-based best practices to the everyday activities of individuals and families. Quality health education builds a firm foundation for constructing the health of our communities.