Doctors are turning to graphic artists to help patients better understand their illness and course of treatment.
The artists turn medical images from 3D anatomical scans into less formidable forms, suitable for patients. Trials of the system have shown it can aid understanding and deepen dialogue between patients and their care givers. The system is also being used as part of a project to raise awareness among diabetics of some of the most serious side-effects of their condition.
"Doctors talk shop, which can be difficult for patients to penetrate," said John McGhee, a PhD student and 3D computer artist from the University of Dundee, who helped to direct the visualisation project. The tools and methods used to pass on information about illnesses and cures were as various as the doctors themselves, [sic] Mr McGhee said.
"None are that great," he said. But, by producing simplified images from detailed MRI scans, for example, patients can get a far better grasp of what is happening inside them, how it came about, and what is being done about it, [sic] he said.