Human-Centered Design to Tell Stories

Katie McCurdy has found a way to use her graphic design background to visualize medical symptoms through detailed health history timelines. McCurdy is an autoimmune patient, designer, and founder of Pictal Health. She is on a mission to use visual communication and human-centered design to help patients tell their stories and help providers focus on the work they love.

The Masters’ in Emergent Media program at Champlain College invited McCurdy for a talk at the Maglianero Cafe in Burlington, VT on Sept. 19. In her talk, McCurdy shared her personal experience with symptom and health visualization, detailed investigative trends in how others represent their symptoms and stories, and shared insights learned while co-creating detailed health history timelines with other patients.

MFA candidate Thea Heck, who also suffers from an autoimmune condition, found her project to be of tremendous value. “McCurdy’s ability to map out a patient’s entire medical history in a relatively simple and comprehensive way was effective in graphically visualizing a rather complicated tracking of medical documentation.”

McCurdy believes that visuals can help us communicate more efficiently and develop a better mutual understanding—and in healthcare this can be a matter of life or death.

DeVante Moses ’19 – contributor