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Photo: Visualizing Health
Participation fee $0
Expenses $0
Spend the time indoors
Location online
Appropriate for kids no
Teaching materials no


Required Gear:

Computer with internet


Visualizing Health


Create images to effectively communicate health risk information
Use the wizard to choose the graphic that suits your question

When it comes to our bodies, data abounds. We all have a blood pressure, weight, cholesterol levels, A1c, BMI, and more. We have risks, too. We might have or be at risk for cancer, or heart disease, or have a higher risk of experiencing a side effect of a medication or treatment than someone else.

In theory, this data can help us make better decisions about our health. Should I take this pill? Will it help me more than it hurts me? How can I reduce my risk? And so on.

But for individuals, it’s not always easy to understand what the numbers are telling us. And for those communicating the information – doctors, hospitals, researchers, public health professionals — it’s not always clear what sort of presentation will make the most sense to the most people.

That problem is the inspiration behind Visualizing Health, a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Michigan Center for Health Communications Research. This site contains 54 examples of tested visualizations – that is, graphic displays of health information that we’ve evaluated through research among the general public. Our objective was to create a gallery of beautiful and easy-to-make-sense-of graphs, charts, and images that effectively communicate risk information. Health data that makes sense.




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