One day this symbol will save lives

My first project when I was employed at Antrop was about how to handle and present warning information in the future electronic health records. How could medical personnel see in a glance if a patient would need special treatment? We realised that the situations of use are quite different, from ordinary visits to the doctor to emergency situations. So one early step was to make situation scenarios, in order to understand the need of information and the conditions for understanding it.

Medical warning information situation scenarios

Then we worked out this symbol, roughly based on the classic medical symbol. Each segment, when “lit”, represents if the patient is contagious, under treatment, hypersensitive in some degree or if there is any other notes that should be taken into account. The symbol is designed to be instantly readable on screen, in physical paper records as well as on black and white copies.

Today, September 14th 2010, my friend and leader of the project, Rikard Lövström, is presenting his work on standard for warning information in electronic health records, including the symbol, as a research poster at the Medinfo2010 conference in Cape Town. At long term this might be an international standard, there are already several countries involved. More information about the project, which involves both interaction and system issues, can be found here.
I am still supporting the project with further development and communication material, as it moves ahead. Through the years I have designed quite a few graphic symbols of certain importance but this is an uncommon opportunity to directly help saving human lives!

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