05Nov/11

Getting the Word Out with Infographics

An infographic is an information graphic. Wikipedia defines it as a graphic visual representation of information, data or knowledge. I’ve become fascinated with infographics – my last two posts have featured infographics.

Making an infographic is about data visualization. And I don’t mean boring charts or graphs. It involves visually stunning, creative graphic design.  When done well, an infographic is a good way to get the word out in an easily understandable and digestible form.

I find it particularly useful in explaining medical concepts to others. I will be featuring more interesting infographics on this blog as I find them. 🙂

According to Sneh at spyrestudios.com, an infographic has three important parts:

  1. Visual
    • Color Coding
    • Graphics
    • Reference Icons
  2. Content
    • Time Frames
    • Statistics
    • References
  3. Knowledge
    • Facts
    • Deductions

Below is an infographic from Visual Aid. In a simple way, it illustrates how loud (in decibels) various things can be.

I’d like to learn how to make an infographic. My dream is to make one using the National Nutrition Health Examination Survey (NNHES) data. Looking at the anatomy of an infographic, I have the content and knowledge parts – I’ll need help with the visual part. Any volunteers? The NNHES is our score card for chronic non-communicable diseases eg. diabetes, hypertension, stroke etc. We’re not doing so well. 🙁 It’s time to get the word out!

 

Waiting at the ER (The New York Times)

Waiting

I trained in the Philippine General Hospital and spent countless (well maybe, not countless 🙂 but it sure felt like it at the time) hours going on duty at the ER both as a student and as a resident. I also continued seeing patients at the ER as a fellow-in-training.

I challenge any reader to make a corresponding infographic for the PGH ER! This will be a worthy cause. We can pass it around until someone (anybody?!) donates money to help the PGH.

In any case, this New York Times infographic is interesting because it details what happens to patients waiting at the ER for non-life-threatening conditions. In a government hospital like the PGH, most of the patients seek consult for life-threatening conditions or at least long-neglected-supposedly-non-life-threatening conditions that have become life-threatening. No one can afford to wait and no one can afford to leave!