Future Of Health: Picturing Our Health

Future Of Health: Picturing Our Health

The development of highly visual and often interactive formats are providing experts and amateurs alike with methods for investigating health on any scale, allowing for deeper analysis and greater insight.

Kyle Studstill
  • 2 august 2010

Picturing Our Health Banner

This post is part of a PSFK Consulting project aimed at providing insight into the Future of Health. Picturing Our Health is one trend of fifteen that appears in our exploration of  how technology and access to information play a vital role in the ways that people will understand, manage and receive care whether that’s at home, in hospitals and clinics or in doctor’s offices.


As more data is captured about individuals and communities, better tools are needed to make this often complex information more meaningful and easier to understand. The development of highly visual and often interactive formats are providing experts and amateurs alike with methods for investigating health on any scale, allowing for deeper analysis and greater insight.


  • Understand Large Sets of Data Faster – Experts can get a better understanding of overall health of an individual or region in less time than was previously possible.
  • Overcome Language Barriers – Citizens with little or no formal education can come to a better understanding of their own health through the use of imagery and visualization, enabling them to be proactive in their healthcare decisions.
  • Shared Insights – Crowdsourcing data analysis can allow multiple groups of people (universities, medical institutions, etc.) to react to findings or trends.
  • Better Indicators – Understanding history and past actions allows for the optimization of future behavior and healthcare practices.

Supporting Examples for Picturing Our Health

Picturing Our Health 01

Visualizing Geographic Health
GE’s Healthymagination project is an effort to help users understand complex data sets. One aspect of the project is an interactive map that lets users navigate health issues in the US on national, state, and county levels. The map can be filtered to view categories related to physical and mental health, socio-economic status and even the physical environment. this give researchers the ability to see a high-level view of a country, then zoom down in to examine individual problem areas and the variables that affect them.

Picturing Our Health 02

DIY Platform For Visualizing Personal Statistics
Daytum is a mobile and web-based platform that provides intuitive tools for collecting and communicating data through a series of simple visualizations. The site features a dashboard where users can easily add, display, distribute and archive relevant information. It creates a larger picture of personal statics that can be tracked over time to provide deeper insights into behaviors and other metrics.

Picturing Our Health 03

Mapping Outbreaks
Geographical visualizations of outbreaks and health incidents allow users to gain a broader understanding of occurrences across regions. Services like Google Flutrends aggregate data from search terms, while services like HealthMap filter news reports across media outlets. More localized solutions such as Ushahidi populate data points through user submitted SMS reports. Insights generated from the data can be used towards prevention efforts and allocating resources.

Picturing Our Health 04

Track And Share Glucose Levels
The Bant app for the iphone enables users to visually track their blood glucose levels throughout the day. After recording glucose levels at points throughout the day, users are then able to view their levels as a trend graph of daily, weekly and monthly views, sharing them with others as needed.

Picturing Our Health 05

Application Helps Users See How Well They’re Sleeping
Sleep Cycle is a mobile application for the iPhone that helps monitor and visualize a user’s sleep patterns during the course of the night. Through monitoring factors such as movement, snoring levels and other ambient data, the applications provides visualizations in the forms of graphs that provide visual feedback. This gives user’s an understanding of their sleep patterns that helps them make changes to their sleeping habits.

Picturing Our Health 06

Data Visualization Tools For The Public
Created under IBM’s Collaborative User experience lab, Many Eyes is a set of web browser tools that allow users to generate interactive visualizations of data sets. Users can submit their own data and decide on the best way to visualize their output. Visualization types include geographic maps, word clouds and block histograms. The purpose of the project is to enable the general public to focus efforts on gathering insights from data rather than generating and programming the visualizations.

About PSFK’s Future Of Health Report


PSFK’s Future of Health Report details 15 trends that will impact health and wellness around the world. Simple advances such as off-the-grid energy and the introduction of gaming into healthcare service offerings sit alongside more future-forward developments such as bio-medical printing. The report includes concepts for UNICEF based on the trends provided by the world’s leading advertising and design agencies. It is our hope that this report will inspire your thinking and lead to services, applications and technologies which will allow for more available, quality healthcare.


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Sports Debrief

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Jonathan Ford

Brand, Product & Experience Design

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

No search results found.