The medical world needs more emojis, according to Chuhan Hee, an emergency doctor who Assist In suggesting symbols of the heart and lungs.
Doctors are calling for a larger set of health-related symbols, which they said could improve communication between doctors and patients.
In recent years, emojis related to medicine and health – such as stethoscopes, hearing aids, bones and microbes – have made their way into the Unicode standard.
and in Suspension Published last week in JAMA, the emergency physician and his co-authors hope that the Unicode standard will approve more symbols that can be used in medical contexts, including symbols for more organs, such as the stomach, liver, intestines, equipment, and CT scans.
He also wants more medical professionals to push for such codes and establish a standard for their use in medical communications.
When patients say specific words, the emergency physician says, they tend to correlate highly with a particular pathology. We are constantly asking people what pain you are feeling, and these are all symbols that can be represented in pictorial form rather than verbal communication.
He added that emoji-like images are widely used in the medical community. The Wong-Baker Pain Scale shows a smiling face at one end and a grim or crying face at the other to indicate pain levels.
This scale was initially developed for children. But it is now used in many doctors’ offices and hospitals for patients of all ages.
And if smiling faces are part of medical communication, why not also take advantage of unified visual language across people’s phones.
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The medical world needs more emojis
The emergency physician sees a range of uses for symbols in medicine. Patients who cannot speak or do not know English can use it to describe their symptoms.
For patients who speak English but do not have much health education, common and standardized visual language can make it easier for them to understand and follow treatment instructions.
The emergence of telehealth also provides more opportunities for medical staff to supplement their communications through visuals.
Emojination, an organization that advocates for more inclusive emoji, helped submit proposals for a number of emoticons, including medical ones such as a stethoscope, blood drop, X-rays and adhesive bandages.
Doctors believe there is a benefit in adding more symbols to key organs. Although the symbols for the brain, anatomical heart and lungs are accepted, other organs are difficult to obtain. This is because they do not have much demand.
And it might not seem like emojis should be a huge priority in the medical field. But anything that improves communication between doctors and patients is worth a try.
Read also: Google is redesigning its emojis to be more global