3 reasons why Pinterest is valuable to medical illustrators

October 2, 2017
How Pinterest can become a visualisation Studio’s valuable tool for brainstorming, research, and mood boarding. Pinterest, brainstorming, and medical illustration I recently changed a little my inspiration and workflow habits, and joined the long list of artists and illustrators using Pinterest. I cannot turn back for many reasons.  As many, I faced difficulties when collecting references online. Bookmarks alone simply did not work. When I discovered Pinterest I discovered I had much more pleasure during this painstaking task of collecting references. So here are my reasons: 01. It’s an inspiring search process To start with, Pinterest is to me a better alternative to Google image search and to stock images sellers. When searching for either medical illustration, anatomical reference, art, infographics or inspiration, Pinterest has a higher chance of showing results that are relevant to me. While Google search results are based on file names, page ranking and relevancies related to pages reputation, Pinterest shows me users “pinned” results. In other words, the results have already been filtered by users that expressed their liking for certain images. 02. A sketchbook online. Pinterest has become a clipping file I can reach anywhere, I can also use the description box for taking notes and add information. We, medical illustrators, are very visual, so making tutorials boards seems a great way to find back images online.  Another option which I haven’t checked but interested to do soon is to collect pictures and sketches and upload them on the same “sketchbook”. 03. Compiling mood- or reference boards I am often baffled to see how Pinterest makes illustration and infographic mood boarding easy. When sending a mood board to a client, they feel engaged to contribute adding more images to the mood collection. The mood board is always online as a subject reference, it can aid future projects or be shared, or to be turned secret for private reference. Last but not least, I can share all my boards and connect with fellow artists. I do like to share a few of these mood boards to give my contribution to the digital/medical artists. If you have any inputs or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you.

A Science Infographic on How IPF, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Affects Patients

September 20, 2017
IPF, or Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, is a serious, irreversible lung disease. The lung tissue of IPF patients becomes progressively scarred making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Among the most common risk factors we can find: certain medicines, Cigarette smocking, Viral or bacterial lung infections, genetoc predisposition, occupational and environmental contaminants, acid reflux disease (GERD). Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is a very deceptive disease, over 50% of IPF patients are initially misdiagnosed, with 60% of IPF patients receiving delayed treatment, often after switching more than 2 doctors. About 50% of IPF patients survive between 2 and 5 years after a diagnosis. Among symptoms for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis we can find shortness of breath, A cough that does not go away, feeling very tired, clubbing of fingernails. How is life with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis? It is difficult to breathe for a patient with IPF than a normal person, to start with. A healthy adult has 15 breaths for each minute at rest, whereas an IPF adult patient breathes 25 for each minute, at rest.  In 6 minutes a healthy adult can walk 200m further than an adult with IPF, and  ultimately takes 70% more effort to people with IPF to do the same activity. For more information on IPF please see the following links: http://www.webmd.com/lung/what-is-idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis#1 https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis-ipf https://www.lung.ca/lung-health/lung-disease/idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis

A Science Infographic on How patients better recall medical information

October 18, 2016
I would like to share this excellent article on patient information recall I have come across, from Roy P C Kessels. The article points out at the difference of using videos with patients as opposed to static visuals or pictograms (or infographics) and provides some good reference for the ones involved in patient communication, still in doubt about which media should be chosen when assembling patient information. Interesting conclusions are drawn. Below an excerpt: “Memory for medical information is often poor and inaccurate, especially when the patient is old or anxious. [ ..] spoken information should be supported with written or visual material. Visual communication aids are especially effective in low-literacy patients, but video or multimedia techniques do not improve memory performance or adherence to therapy.” See the full article here https://goo.gl/uaWbZd

Learn more about history of medical illustration

June 2, 2016
Precise lines and rich, accurate details make medical illustration extremely useful in learning about the human body. When we turn on the computer to research a subject, we hardly stop to think how the graphic representation of the subject has evolved over time or the path it has taken to get there. Medical illustration has evolved along with medicine itself, but its progress has been impaired at times by religious and ethical concerns. For example, dissection of corpses was not permitted in medieval medical schools.  In Renaissance Italy, renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci also worked in the area of medicine, and by connecting with physicians and anatomists learned how to better represent the human body in his sculptures and paintings. Da Vinci made more than 1200 anatomic drawings that still serve as inspiration for medical illustrators to this day. Around this time, materials such as stone (for lithographs in different gradations) and metal feathers were discovered, which facilitated the execution and modernization of drawings. The press contribution to medical illustration With the advent of books and the press, there was a scientific revolution in anatomy. Corpses were dissected to study the human body structures, inspiring anatomists to write their own texts with illustrations based on their work. Press development in Brazil started in 1808, with metal and wood-engraved works. There are universities in Europe and the USA that offer scientific illustration courses, where it is possible to become specialized in medical illustration. Professionals in the field are highly valued and need to have excellent knowledge of anatomy and physiology, as well as constantly carrying out research to enhance their work. Exist 2 main associations supporting the illustrators in their careers, AMI for US professionals, AEIMS for European professionals.   Medical illustration has also benefit from technological advances. Images are becoming increasingly more realistic, which in turn means they are more accurate for diagnoses and procedures, benefitting both doctors and patients. We rely on extremely qualified medical illustration professionals who studied and graduated either in medical illustration or biomedical communication, and offer services that respond to the most meticulous of demands from physicians. Our service extends to areas such as Europe, US and Latin America. 

Innovation and medical illustration?

February 15, 2015
We provided medical illustration for a leading company in innovation and best practice in the fields of surgery, radiotherapy and digital integrated O.R.s Can innovation and traditional medical illustration work together for a better communication? Surely yes. We have been asked to participate in an informative design project. Brainlab is a software company with applications ranging from patient positioning in radio surgery treatments. They also provide software-guided surgical navigation that facilitates the secure exchange of medical images. The assigned platform for our work to appear is BRAINLAB.ORG, a general health and information resource site for patients. It needed imagery able to aid in demystifying patients’ concerns about specific procedures, and needed to acquire a technical, yet friendly look. Approach: We worked straight forward anatomical image references using vectors, taking into consideration the “technical” and “friendly” factors. The medical illustrations have then been completed with captions and uploaded to the online presence, aiding so the read of technical information. Result: The result is a comprehensive overview of images that complete the online information presented to the lay audience, resulting in simplifying the medical message making it fit to the lay audience. check Brainlab here www.brainlab.org  

The TMJ eBook is out

April 22, 2014
We had the pleasure to work with FOR and bring to life an exceptional resource for those desiring in-depth knowledge of temporomandibular joint anatomy. An incredible collection of images further enhances the experience of understanding the more intricate anatomic characteristics of the TMJ. The Temporomandibular Joint  joins the existing digital textbook Single Implants and Their Restoration.

How medical infographics assist on health explanations

April 21, 2014
Wow can medical infographics help with health explanations? From prehistoric times to the digital age infographics have helped in comprehending various subjects. Medical infographics contribute greatly to today’s medicine and science. The first maps were created thousands of years before writing. Maps have been found drawn on the walls of Turkish city Çatal Hüyük in 6200BC. Christopher Scheiner used graphics to illustrate his astronomy research about the Sun and in 1786 William Playfair published his first book with statistical graphs about the English economy. Perhaps this is the origin of infographics? Most likely. The first major contribution to infographics in the medical sector was likely from Leonardo da Vinci, who planned work with detailed drawings about comparative anatomy to study the human body and fetuses. Infographics are illustrations that help to explain aspects of a subject or theme that would not adequately be explained by text alone. They are commonly used in newspapers, maps, scientific and educational manuals, making the content more dynamic. They have as well become today’s strategic tools for researchers and science marketers, wishing to share their work through social media. This type of infographics are currently denominated tweetable infographics, or shareable infographics. How medical infographics help in the health sector Thanks to technological development, infographics can be constructed from photographs, drawings, 3D modeling, vector illustration and animation effects. It is important to know how to accurately convey the subject and to organize all the elements in a way that can be clearly understood. Medical infographics have been essential in the field since the first days of university studies, showing details of the human body, illustrating various procedures and explaining cells and pain stages. They can also be used to help future doctors, dentists and nurses become acquainted with any instruments and devices that are used in their profession. Medical infographics help diagnosis and communication between doctors and patients. They are important in illustrating surgery and studying the evolution of diseases. They are also of great value in the development and operation of prosthesis and implants, in both medical and dental fields.

Cloud publishing: the new editorial publishing model and its practicality

March 12, 2014
Learn more about the new model in Cloud publishing, its practicality and editorial usage in medicine. Cloud publishing allows for faster information anywhere and on any device and is quickly becoming popular also for the medical and scientific publishing industry. A cloud publishing environment allows for remote access to programs, files and services on the internet, and it is possible to access these on any device with internet access. Google Docs is an excellent example of cloud publishing, where the service allows users to access, edit and share their files online. The advantages of a cloud publishing editorial publication for the medical field Medicine can greatly benefit from cloud publishing as well. Medical teams can get answers for their patients quickly as the cloud analyses and compiles similar data, which contributes to more accurate diagnosis. In a large hospital setting, the usage of cloud publishing can be very economical limiting expenses on software licenses and communication. Medicine and editorial publishing have benefit from technological advances and cloud publishing. Printed books are being used less and medical students have quickly become accustomed to using online references for research. Today it is possible to keep a medical library and updated reference material on a tablet or smartphone, allowing quick access and helping to solve diagnostic questions faster. Content can be downloaded for future consultations and used offline, which is a very useful feature. Issues are published in real time and users can receive notifications when updates are available. Elsevier’s student and expert consult rely on a very advanced cloud publishing system to make their titles available to students in medicine and professionals. Similarly, Visualmedics uses the same tool to collaborate with international publishers producing a variety of medical-related content, such as illustrations and ebooks, with great knowledge of digital media related to science and medicine. Depicted above is one of the eBook projects made in collaboration with FOR (Foundation of Oral Rehabilitation). 1000 images and illustrations make this book a vital reference for students and professional dentists alike. Watch the presentation video or see the full presentation of the product.

Medical device branding

March 5, 2014
Portable Organ Perfusion is a startup company innovating with a truly disposable portable organ perfusion system. We offered all support needed to build up the visual identity from scratch. The branding of the startup needed to be taken care thoroughly. So we set up appointments to understand the client’s needs and made up a strategy. We rolled into the team’s daily schedule to make it happen, time was not on the team’s side. Startups are constantly busy planning the latest update, organizing the latest event, following the ongoing technical developments. Approach: We provided the illustrations and graphics that needed to explain to the public the exceptional character of the product. We worked our way into understanding the company’s needs and openly suggested to be involved more with other aspects of the product presentation. We obtained doing so the management’s trust and went ahead contributing to present the product using a wide range of media. We supported them in such way they did not have to bother about the details of setting up visual guidelines, manuals with device regulations and content of the website. Result: The result is a nice balanced brand presence that reflects the company’s message well, both online and print. It is a good example of how medical device branding can be successful using illustrations and infographics.

Odontologic illustration

February 28, 2014
We recently concurred to start a exciting project. The Client looked for an illustration agency able to commit with sharp deadlines and listen to multiple associates feedbacks. We created the right recipe for a branded medical dental illustration collection supporting their content. The client is creating an online global reference portal illustrating procedures, making material available to professionals worldwide. The dental illustrations developed should aid the understanding of articles by providing a visual educational reference to the techniques used. We pitched with a traditional anatomical approach to dental illustration, and added a tech feeling to the chosen visual subjects through light color palettes and the choice of software. The images we produced stood up the 3D visualization concurrent pitches, we are now on board creating the actual work.

Creating interactive eBooks in medicine

December 23, 2013
Innovation in medicine with distinguished reading In medical literature, having access to technology not only helps access information quickly, but also makes doctors lives easier and helps patients to understand diagnoses. Medicine demands constant study from professionals, not only for updates about research in the field but also for increasing awareness of new medications in the market and their applications. Physicians should always be ready to provide information for their patients too. They need to be patient and dedicated in order to explain procedures and diagnoses in their office, as well as travelling to take part in courses, conferences and lectures. It is not always possible for physicians to carry everything they need, such as large amounts of books.  Technological advances such as electronic books allow them to have easy access to thousands of books in their area of expertise. How interactive eBooks add value to medical literature Interactive eBooks are a new kind of eBooks. If built with proper software, they help physicians explaining medical terms, effects of disease on organs and showing how types of surgery are performed with a simple touch of a screen. There is a variety of software available designed for creating interactive eBooks, offering resources such as flip cards, multiple answer knowledge tests, videos and animated gifs, which lead to a better understanding of the topics presented. Our software of choice is produced by Inkling. It allows us to work collaboratively with authors and editors and produce Interactive eBooks using HTML and CSS as primary language. Readers access titles through the Inkling app reader from any device, really any! Working from the backend we can push new updates to the users, export to other ebooks formats, and most important, we can view how much readers actually read through the analytics tool. The worth of a job well-done Everything related to medicine has to be executed to a very high standard by specialized professionals. Drawing highly accurate illustrations with all the correct details and colors is essential to contribute to the quality of eBooks that will be used by doctors, students, patients and other professionals connected with the medical industry. Visual Medics develops various eBooks and other visual communication works dedicated to the field of medicine, working with Inkling and its Cloud Publishing system. Here are a few examples of eBooks created by us: Single implants and their restoration, The temporomandibular joint

Mammography screening: an infographic

December 10, 2013
The Breast Cancer Awareness Month, marked in countries across the world every October, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease. Currently, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. But mammography screening has come lately under fire with a series of articles questioning its benefits for women under 50 and for older women. As many, I got  caught up reading those articles. I found in the JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) article by Dr. Jill Jin, MD, MPH an interesting read in which she puts together this graphic on the odds of various outcomes from mammography screening. Her article is based on a review of studies on the risks and benefits of mammograms earlier this year. I felt challenged to take the already good graphic present in the article and work on a new version to provide further a visual, realistic view of the breakdown in the six potential outcomes of mammograms. Thank you very much to Dr. Jill Jin for reviewing the infographic and wanting to make it a poster. Please read the articles for more information on the subject.