Notes from the field of visual health mapping

It’s been awhile since my last update, and I want to share some more nuggets of insight I’ve gained while conducting the business of Pictal Health— helping people visualize and share their health histories. Let us jump in.

Visualizing daily functioning

In a couple of recent cases, I’ve come up against the limits of the two major forms of visualization I’ve been using — a health history timeline, and a symptom map.

These are helpful when people need to show what happened over time or illustrate their bodily symptoms — two common needs — but recently a few clients have wanted to bring to life their ‘limited daily functioning.’

For example, I worked with a person with memory and cognition symptoms, and his wife told me a number of anecdotes that really illustrated how difficult daily life was for both of them. I struggled with how to represent these, and then decided to draw some rough comic panels. 

Katie McCurdy