About Katie

Here's me, hiking in the woods of Vermont. I'm really into nature.

Here's me, hiking in the woods of Vermont. I'm really into nature.


Hi, I’m Katie McCurdy. I'm a designer who has worked to improve healthcare for many years. Here's my professional portfolio. But before all of that, I was a patient.

I've had autoimmune stuff since I was a kid. Over the years, I've used lots of different visuals to communicate about my health with my doctors. I've used timelines, especially when going to a new doctor for the first time: 


These have helped me talk through my health history and make sure I don't leave anything out. Multiple doctors have said “that’s the coolest thing ever.” 


I've also used symptom drawings to communicate with doctors and show them how I am feeling. Here are some from a few years ago when I was having mysterious symptoms, which we were able to solve:


You can read more about my story here. I've used other types of drawings, graphs, diagrams, and other visuals to communicate with my doctors and understand my health; there's a good summary of them here.


What have these experiences taught me?

  • Visuals help doctors absorb my story.
    Although they are trained to use verbal communication, visuals help increase doctors' understanding and prevent them from having to keep as much information in their ‘working memory’ at any one time.

  • Telling my story visually helps me communicate more effectively.
    I remember what I want to say, and I can tell a more coherent and efficient story.

  • I feel better when I can 'see' what is going on.
    The act of preparing and creating visuals about my health has helped me feel more in-control and knowledgeable about what is happening to me.


Now, I want to help you experience the benefits of telling your story visually. 

My goal is to use visuals to enable better communication and collaboration between you and your care team – so that you can get the diagnosis and treatment you need and get back to your life.

My strengths: I combine my background in human-centered design and my own experience as a patient to help you create order out of chaotic stories, simplify and prioritize, and visualize what matters most.

While we work together, I listen with empathy and make sure that you have time to tell me your whole story. I coach you on how to use the visuals we create to make the best use of time with your doctors. And I give you the tools you need to tell your story with more confidence.


The big vision

I imagine a future in which visualizing health information is the new standard, patients drive their own health narrative, doctors and patients are true partners, and rates of undiagnosed and misdiagnosed patients plummet as a result. Read more about Pictal's purpose, vision, and values.

Someday soon, I want to scale visual health storytelling beyond just me. If you want to stay updated on Pictal Health's progress, sign up here for our (occasional) emails.


If you have ideas, thoughts, or just want to say hi, please contact me! I would love to hear from you.