Pharma Pictograms

7847_web.jpgFrench researchers have developed a potentially very useful set of graphical icons to depict disease and drug information:

Like road signs, the VCM graphical language uses a small set of graphical signs. The current dictionary contains about 130 pictograms displayed in 5 colors. For example, current conditions of a patient are shown as red icons while risks of future conditions are orange. The physicians who tested the system learned it in a couple of hours and think this system will reduce the number of errors in drug prescriptions.

I think a universal, simplified set of icons is a great idea. Of course they wouldn’t be a replacement for drug information sheets, etc., but they could allow doctors and pharmacist to quickly identify a substance and work more safely and efficiently.

3 Replies to “Pharma Pictograms”

  1. That’s interesting. I wish I could remember the name of the conference, but a few years ago I remember reading about a conference in Switzerland that was aimed at graphic designers with an eye to define a set of global symbols. It was an international conference that pulled together ideas for everything from universal stop signs to bathroom signs to medical terminology. I really wish I could find it because some of the the examples were so brilliant in their simplicity.

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