May 18, 2003
visualizing medicine

I've been thinking about this since taking the Radiology elective in February. Rays isn't easy, but once you've acquired the visual vocabulary, a film can tell you a lot very quickly, often instinctively. I've always been visually oriented and find it easier to assimilate large amounts of data if it is expressed in pictorial form. One of the treasured books in my library is Edward Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. The best known figure from this book is the famous map of Napoleon's 1812 campaign in Russia by Charles Joseph Minard,


credit: edwardtufte.com

which succinctly summarizes the geographic path of Napoleon's advance and retreat, the Grand Armée's manpower, time, and temperature.

Work in the CODEx Project hammers home that we need to think of ways to present complex clinico-genomic information that is both comprehensible, and yields up important subtleties no different than the nuances a good radiologist sees in a mediastinal silhouette.

I would think this should be an additional focus for the Project as it matures.

Posted by erich at May 18, 2003 10:50 AM
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