Visualizing the Future of Data Visualization

When it comes to health infographics, Fred Pennic and his team at HITConsultant have amassed one of the better collections out there. They also sort the wheat from the chafe, and surface some of the most useful data visualizations we've seen.

Among them is an infographic on created by Verilogue, which highlights communications patterns between patients, caregivers and their physicians. It's based on an analysis of conversational data over a period of six years, looking at disease states having 100 or more conversations. It reveals, among other things, who's doing the talking and which health conditions garner the longest conversations.

But infographics like this are also instructive for what they don't reveal. Most notably in this case, what data patients and caregivers rely on to inform their conversations with physicians. Are they sharing longitudinal data about their blood pressure or cholesterol levels, their weight, or the number of steps they average each day? Are they sharing a list of past and current medications, the number of x-rays they've had and their immunization history?

Okay, we get it. Every infographic has its limitations, but realistically, we pretty much know the answer to these questions is a definitive "no." We're a still long ways away from having a lifetime, portable personal health record that patients and caregivers can use as the basis for a conversation with our doctor.

It's almost 2014 and the age of accountable care is taking root. It's high time for this to change.


  • Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Epatients
  • Health 2.0 Blog
  • Health Blawg
  • Health Data Consortium
  • HealthPopuli
  • HISTalk
  • iHealthBeat
  • The Healthcare Blog
  • Well Blog (NYTimes)

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