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An Illustrated Subway Map of Human Anatomy

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What comes to mind when you think about your body?

Most people might imagine an intricate network of blood vessels or the complex neural circuits of the brain. Or we might picture diagrams from the iconic medical textbook, Gray’s Anatomy.

Today’s visualization puts a unique spin on all of these ideas – interpreting human anatomy in the style of London’s transit system. Created by Jonathan Simmonds M.D., a resident physician at Tufts Medical Center, it’s a simple yet beautifully intuitive demonstration of how efficiently our bodies work.

View a high resolution version of this graphic.
Subway Map of Human Anatomy

Make sure to view the full resolution version of this intricate visualization.

From Point A to Point Z

Right away, we can see that each system is broken down into a few major colored ‘lines’. Here are a few:

  • Vermillion system (Pink line)
    This covers one of the smallest surface areas, namely the boundary around the mouth from the cupid’s bow to the bottom lip.
  • Airway system (Black line)
    This represents the sections from the nose and mouth, down the windpipe and into the lungs. The system also works with bronchial arteries and veins – the striped blue and red lines respectively.
  • Nervous system (Yellow line)
    This starts from the temporal lobe of the brain, and reaches all the way to the body’s extremities, such as the fingertips and feet.
  • Portal system (Purple line)
    Approximately 75% of blood flowing from the liver passes through portal veins, which are one of two sets of veins connected to the liver.
  • Special system (Magenta line)
    This includes organs responsible for four of the five traditional senses – sight, hearing, smell, and taste – as well the reproductive organs.

While dashed lines represent deeper structures, sections with ‘transfers’ show where different organ systems intersect. The head is also helpfully categorized into three ‘zones’.

Of course, it’s not as straightforward as starting in one place and ending up on the opposite end – as with city transit systems, there are multiple routes that can be taken. If you’re still daunted by where to start with this map of human anatomy, there’s a helpful “You Are Here” at the heart.

To counter common biases in the medical field, Dr. Simmonds has noted that he will soon update the illustration to include racialized and female versions.

An Enduring Symbol

From a broader design perspective, this anatomical subway map draws inspiration from the famous London Underground design.

When engineering draftsman Harry Beck debuted this map back in the 1930s, it caused quite a stir. Many argued that it wasn’t geographically accurate, and that its scale was wildly skewed.

But that didn’t matter to most commuters. Beck’s map offered something that no one else did – it combined all the different lines into one pocket-sized diagram.

Beck’s map was revolutionary in its simplicity.

– Sam Mullins, London Transport Museum Director

As a result, the Tube’s linear, color-coded aesthetic is arguably the most recognizable transit map in the world today. Many major cities hopped on board with the timeless new look, such as Sydney and Paris.

This iconic subway map design has been used as a visual reference for everything from Ancient Roman roads to the Milky Way. That’s what makes it such a good application for the most complex network of all – the human body.

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Healthcare

How Millennial Doctors Are Transforming Medicine

Today’s doctors are increasingly young and diverse, and skilled at using digital tools. How will they disrupt the healthcare landscape in years to come?

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How Millennial Doctors Are Transforming Medicine

Changing healthcare models, groundbreaking advancements in the health technology sector, and shifting standards of patient care—they’re all contributing to a new era of medicine. But arguably one of the biggest changes will be the faces that greet us at a clinic or hospital.

Today’s infographic from Publicis Health illustrates the emerging generation of millennial doctors, and why they’re on the cusp of transforming the healthcare industry.

The Changing Face of Medicine

The doctor is in, but it’s probably not who you’re thinking of. Most people expect to see an older white male as their healthcare provider, yet today’s physicians are straying from this stereotype:

  • Increasingly diverse
    44% of U.S. medical school graduates in 2018 were of a racial minority background.
  • Millennial women
    61% of physicians under the age of 35 are females.
  • Digital-focused
    They’re adept at practicing medicine with digital tools, like electronic health records and telemedicine.

These younger doctors face intense financial pressure from student loans as they enter the workforce—an average of $190,000 to be precise—and it’s part of the reason that they’re more likely than their Gen X and Boomer counterparts to take jobs in hospital networks.

Shifting practices are also altering interactions between these new doctors and their patients. As patients increasingly behave like consumers, they have to keep pace with their demands for shared decision-making and higher personalization.

  • Millennial doctors spend over 8 hours a day on screens: 5 hours using
    electronic health records, and 3 hours more consulting external search websites.
  • 37% of them also rely on social networks and message boards for work, compared to 25% of their peers aged 55 and above.

The silver lining? These new doctors are digital natives first, which means they’re comfortable using tools to help them practice medicine more efficiently than their predecessors.

Bridging the Gap for Millennial Doctors

The new profile of healthcare providers are seeing the lines between their work settings and everyday lives being increasingly blurred. When they don their “white coat” persona, millennial doctors are aware that they’re always under the microscope.

  • 77% of patients rely on online reviews before choosing a physician
  • 80% of consumers trust online reviews alongside personal recommendations
  • 60% of consumers read four or more reviews before deciding on a doctor

As consumers themselves, millennial physicians are also constantly bombarded with content. They’re active on social media during their “blue jeans” moments, allowing them to engage with patients even in their downtime. This entirely new environment propels their healthcare decision-making in radical ways.

Credible channels, actionable data dashboards, personalized communication, and patient-centric tools all contribute towards the industry’s attempts to bridge this gap for millennial doctors and their patients—to reach them at the right place, at the right time.

Navigating Transformative Forces in HealthcareHow Big Data Will Unlock the Potential of HealthcareHow Tech is Changing How Healthcare Must Communicate With PatientsThe Amazonification of HealthcareHow Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Clinical Trial RecruitmentPH6 - NotActivePH7 Active

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Chart of the Week

The 10 Breakthrough Technologies That Will Define 2019

Which innovations will dominate headlines in 2019? According to Bill Gates, watch for these 10 breakthrough technologies to change the world.

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The 10 Breakthrough Technologies That Will Define 2019

Gone are the days of turning stones into spears. With the advent of new technologies, we’ve learned to develop tools that not only make living faster and easier every day, but also improve the future of humanity as a whole.

Today’s Chart of the Week draws from the MIT Technology Review, which features Bill Gates’ predictions for the top 10 breakthrough inventions that will capture headlines in 2019.

Top 10 Breakthrough Technologies

1. Gut Probe in a Pill
These swallowable devices can detect and potentially prevent diseases that cause malnutrition and stunted growth in millions of children worldwide.

2. Custom Cancer Vaccines
Personalized cancer vaccines, targeting only the cancerous cells and leave healthy cells alone, could help ensure faster recovery times and pose fewer risks to patients.

3. Meat-free Burgers
Plant-based and lab-grown food products will ideally alleviate the environmental impact of the livestock industry.

4. Smooth-talking AI assistants
The AI assistants of the future will have even more human-like conversations to personally engage customers. Companies would see measurable benefits, with just one breakthrough here garnering a 5% jump in productivity.

5. Sanitation without sewers
Improperly drained sewage causes death in one out of every nine children. Sanitation that doesn’t require sewers would not only prevent exposure diseases but also help turn waste into useful products like fertilizer.

6. ECG on your wrist
While most medical ECGS have up to 12 nodes to detect abnormalities, today’s wearables typically have only one. An ECG on the wrist would help reduce the risk of heart disease by monitoring changes and patterns in daily life.

7. Robot Dexterity
Advancements in robotics will enable the natural dexterity required to complete a greater range of tasks, such as helping an ailing loved one out of bed, doing the laundry, or building toys.

8. Predicting Preemies
Premature births are the leading cause of death for children under five years old. Tests to detect the possibility of a premature birth could be available in doctors’ offices in as little as five years.

9. Carbon Dioxide Catcher
Carbon dioxide catchers filter out CO₂ from the air and capture it for other uses. These include synthetic fuel creation, CO₂ for soft drinks, and plant growth in greenhouses.

10. New-wave Nuclear Power
Traditional nuclear reactors produce ~1,000 megawatts (MW), while these proposed mini-reactors would produce tens of megawatts ─ making them safer, more stable, and more financially viable for potential users.

A Vision for a Better Future

The biggest takeaway?

Seven of the 10 breakthrough technologies stem from the healthtech sector.

While several inventions on this list are years away from becoming a reality, they continue to embody the vision and passion that humans share to create and explore.

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