Successful ACHC Symposium on Visual Health Communication

Published on May 21 2019 –  On Tuesday April 23, 2019, the seventh ACHC symposium took place in Amsterdam, chaired by Hao Nguyen. The main purpose of symposium was to share knowledge among scholars and health specialists about the role of visuals in health communication (e.g., illustrations and videos via health websites, patient portals, health apps and brochures), as well as the potential of novel visual research methods (e.g., eye-tracking)

The symposium was opened by Hao Nguyen (UvA), who presented her work on tailoring website information on visual preferences of older cancer patients. Liset van Dijk (NIVEL) discussed how blood test results can be visually presented in online patient portals. Marjolijn van Leeuwen (Pharos) gave a workshop about how to develop visual information materials for low literate audiences. Finally, Olchert Vels (Behandeling Begrepen) gave a behind the scenes insight into how visual materials are developed in practice, as well as the novel developments in the field such as augmented reality. The symposium ended with a keynote lecture by Andy King (Iowa State University), who outlined the methodological, theoretical, and practical issues in studying visual imagery and health messages, as well as the innovative methodological approaches (e.g., crowdsourcing and computational methods) for improving visual health communication research.

In addition to these speakers, a large number of Blitz speakers informed the audience about various recent research findings and ongoing and startup research projects. These included eye-tracking studies, the use of visuals as a communication tool with patients, and visually presenting information on patient websites/electronic health records. The full program can be found here.

The ACHC and the audience in attendance look back at a very successful symposium. More than 100 people attended the symposium, and there was a lot of interaction between speakers and the public. For those who would like to see the presentations, these can be downloaded here.

The symposium was made possible by the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF Kankerbestrijding), RPA Communication of the University of Amsterdam, and The Netherlands Flanders Communication Association.