As we step into the future of medicine and healthcare, we are getting submerged into a vast sea of clinical data. And as this abundance grows, there seems to be a steady need for a visual or pictorial representation of these data. We are eventually witnessing several data visualization techniques spawning across the web.
In general terms, Data Visualization is the visual representation of any data to analyze the trends of a specific industry. This is all the more true for the health sector as visual analytics and engaging dashboard can provide valuable insights to healthcare organizations.
The Massive Flow of Healthcare Data
Efficient data analysis sits at the core of today’s healthcare sector. That said, data visualization is becoming imperative in the health care industry, bringing the most vital takeaways into focus. It is also significantly important to the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals as they review complex patient records and trends.
The global healthcare industry has become immensely digital with the rise of Electronic Health Records, wearable medical devices, telemedicine, automated medicine dispensers, mobile health apps, so and so forth. And all these have contributed to the conversion of unstructured data into meaningful bytes of information.
Data Visualization makes Data Analysis Simplified
To make it easy to digest and simplified, and also to bolster digitally-augmented treatments, more and more clinical organizations are taking resort to data visualization. Researches reveal that 2022 is going to be a colossal year for healthcare Big Data; and the industry itself is going to increase by $34.27 Billion.
Now, to eliminate the risk of being outdated, in the past few years, doctors and medical professionals are striving to make data comprehensible to the end-user through visualization. Such has been the incredible importance of data visualization lately.
Numbers, Statistics, Tables, Pie-charts, Bar-graphs, Bar-charts, Line Graphs, Tree-maps, Cartograms, Pinpoint maps, Infographics, Animated Visualizations, Static Visualizations, Interactive Visualizations – all of these graphic representations of data are instrumental in creating a visually stimulating data visualization.
Let’s dive into all the visual elements that the healthcare sector has turned to, and discuss in detail the kind of the data visualization techniques this sector is adapting.
Infographics are the prime media for healthcare sectors to disperse complex reports and analyses. Infographics break complex data into easy-to-understand nuggets that convey the intended message clearly. Big datasets are no more a viable option to share information. With Infographics and data visualization techniques, you only highlight the critical areas of your content and ensure that the audience understands your intention.
A healthcare professional, a doctor, or a surgeon, doesn’t need to tell every detail of how a critical surgery or a study was performed. Infographics churn out the actionable takeaways and educate your audience, be it the patients, or your internal staff or maybe the board members. You can either make them long-form or go for a short Infographic. These engaging graphics are highly shareable on Social media, on your Website or Blogs.
The short Infographics published by WHO gained immense virality and are a sure-fire way to educate their target audience around the world. The Infographics by the American Cancer Society on cancer and its effects help them to generate awareness about the disease and urge them to take precautions.
2. Custom Health Sector Charts and Graphs
Several health organizations now publish charts and graphs on a daily basis, showcasing data, trends and developments. Custom-crafted charts are seeing steady demand in this sector in particular, to distill substantial data sets into actionable data visualizations. For e.g., the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation’s customizable data visualization has got a lot of virality.
Also, the National Center for Health Statistics has a lot to offer when it comes to engaging data visualizations and charts.
3. Interactive Visualizations
In an era when everything around us is interactive, why should visual communication stay static? Interactive data visualizations hold the attention of the onlooker and allow them to get involved. The user gets intrigued with the information first and then in the quest to find more answers, participate in the interactivity.
With Interactive visualizations, the cost of certain treatments on the basis of region/area can be showcased seamlessly. This greatly helps in keeping the design de-cluttered, while incorporating a lot of critical information. However, creating these interactive data visualizations is not that easy. Apart from design expertise, one needs to have knowledge of coding and programming as well.
4. Interactive Widgets
If you are looking for a dataset that belongs to a specific genre, or country, or state – Interactive widgets are your best recourse. This variety of data visualization is mostly required when certain data aspects are more significant than others.
For e.g., oncologists of Illinois might be more interested in the trends for cancer amongst the Illinois citizens. These interactive datasets enable people to find the exact data in a jiffy, without staggering along with an enormous Big Data. This is an ideal data visualization strategy that the health sector can leverage further.
5. Motion Graphics/Video Infographics
Nothing creates more impact than a moving picture. If there’s a series of datasets to convey a larger story, sprinkling animation in the storytelling process is a great idea. Animations have already taken the visual media by storm, owing to their engagement quotient and compelling storytelling process. They are the best way to make complex data understandable to the average person.
For e.g., if you have a series of information about a particular kind of vaccine and how exactly it works, you might want to tell the story through an Infographic video.
You may incorporate custom icons to denote significant points or highlight them in an attention-grabbing manner. The smooth transition and movements in Motion Graphics are enough to hook a bunch of audiences for 40 seconds to 90 seconds. And within that short span of time, along with a fitting narration/Voiceover, you may present a great deal of data to your audience, without them getting bored!
Well, honestly though, the animation must be appealing to keep the viewers’ attention intact. And for that, professional video production agencies can be of great help.
6. GIF Infographics/Animated Infographics
If you are a little tight on the budget, but still want to make your healthcare data visualization technique a unique tough, think of animated Infographics, aka, GIF Infographics. This unique breed of data visualization can make any medical report more dynamic and stand out. They bring the audience’s attention directly to the charts, graphs and stats and boost visibility. Healthcare professionals can add a zing to their data visualizations, break down concepts, show a process in a continuous loop and get even more attention.
7. Interactive Analytical Dashboards
Medical professionals are often in dire need of summarizing key points on a single page for a better viewing purpose. Analytical dashboards contain tables, graphs, charts and other visual elements that allow quick analysis of large data. Medical professionals can just look at these dashboards and understand the projections, trends and predictions of a specific medicine in no time.
Apart from simplifying the data, dashboards also help in saving a lot of time. Interactive dashboards to visualize EHR (Electronic Health Records) have resulted in a whopping 65% reduction in time spent on data analysis.
The health industry has started acknowledging the prowess of these data visualization methods. Medical data analyst, data visualizing expert and graphic design professionals can have a great career in this.
To conclude, data visualization showcases the most pivotal takeaways in the health sector in the most comprehensible manner. They help us identify the patterns and correlations and simplify data analysis even more. Custom data charts and minimal visual graphics crunch big data sets efficiently, as well as bring out insights.
From providing a holistic view of the growing trends, to patient profiling and even operation monitoring, the role of data visualization is immense. And it will expand rapidly in the healthcare industry. There are numerous data visualization tools available online, that you may use. But it’s always a better idea to consult the professionals for these creative tasks.
While the health sector is so much into data visualization, how do you think your niche can leverage these visual representations? Let us know in the comments section.