In the world of presentations, some choose to give just the data while others add meaning to their presentations. While many may not mind data, humans are thought to respond better when data is presented with some meaning and context attached to it. With this in mind Thomas Goetz of Wired Magazine had a team of graphic designers re-imagine the simple blood test. Instead of tables, numbers and medical terminology that only medical experts and insurance companies understand, why not give patients something meaningful? Give them information on what is being tested and how their results stack up against the norm. And while at it, interpret those tests to say what risk factors may be associated with the results. But do it in a more artistic way with color, lines and shapes.
Such a redesign, Goetz argued would not only give patients more information but it would better motivate them to take control of their health and make lifestyle change. A boring table of lab readouts doesn’t engage the person reading it. It doesn’t issue a call to action. A patient looking at a page that reads CRP 3.3 would be tempted to toss it. But given information that the test is about risk of a heart attack, and this patient’s level is high, the patient would spring into action. At least this is Goetz’s thought. Meanwhile others aren’t ready to rush out and change things. Each patient is different. Lab results shouldn’t be taken in a vacuum. Doctors need to evaluate the results in the context of patient history and other factors. Still, others wonder if such design thinking could be applied to all sorts of data from retirement plans to banking. Maybe we should let Watson decide.
- New Media
- How To