Most individuals experience an injury or chronic illness at some point in their lives. How can we better help patients care for their own health?
Outside of the clinic, patients are responsible for maintaining their own health. Individuals with a solid understanding of their condition are best equipped to provide effective self-care.
Medical illustrators and writers meet this need by bridging the gap between physician insight and patient action. Trained in both communications strategies and the medical sciences, medical illustrators and writers create accurate and engaging materials that are easy to understand. They transform highly specialized health research into resources that individuals can use to make good choices about their health.
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 patients' attention on what they really need to know.
Illustrations and animations are also useful when a procedure or concept can’t be photographed, such as the chemical activity of a medication. Photos are also avoided for procedures involving blood or needles because they often frighten patients. Illustrations allows physicians to communicate effectively with patients while ensuring their comfort.
Patients who have limited exposure to medical education frequently benefit from illustrations and multimedia. These tools help patients bypass the need to learn specialized medical vocabulary. A combination of images and simple written text conveys information more clearly than text alone, and increases recall as well. Video and narration overcome literacy barriers and ensure health parity across populations.
Clear, straightforward writing and appealing visuals encourage active patient investigation of health-related topics. Educational resources can promote healthy behaviors through humor, captivating imagery, and engaging narratives. These factors boost positive emotional responses and increase motivation, leading to better outcomes.
Medical illustrators and writers connect researched-based best practices to everyday patient activities. Quality health education builds a firm foundation for constructing the health of our communities.