High Resolution: Bringing a Sharper Focus to Precision Medicine Through Design

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With so much attention focused on new ways to collect, combine, and mine health data, it can be easy to overlook the critical need to clearly display the output. The interfaces and data visualizations for precision medicine need to be intelligible, meaningful, and action able for the people who depend on them. While the many tried-and-true approaches to displaying quantitative information will continue to play essential roles, they are unlikely to be sufficient to meet current and future demands. There are several converging forces driving these new needs including the massively expanding volume and variety of data and the ever-increasing diversity of people expecting to make use of it all. Technology may be the main driver but, by definition, medicine’s ultimate impact is on human beings and not machines. From biomedical researchers engaged in drug discovery to physicians considering treatment plans to patients making difficult but informed personal decisions, designing user interfaces and visualizations should not just be a side note.

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