More Specialized Emoji Is Necessary for the Communication of Doctors and Patients

  • Elijah Martin
  • 13 Sep 2021

The topic of emoji is not something that immediately comes to mind when we think about the medical sphere. At the same time, some doctors, such as an emergency physician Shuhan He, suggest that introducing more specialized emojis could improve the communication between patients and doctors.

Explaining symptoms can be quite difficult for patients, which is why the introduction of health-related emoji can become a valuable tool. Previously, He has already proposed adding emoji depicting lungs and anatomical heart, but he doesn’t plan to stop there. The Unicode Standard now already includes a number of emojis associated with medicine. This includes hearing aids, microbes, bones, stethoscopes, and more.

According to He, some words used by patients to describe specific symptoms help quickly identify the problem. For instance, many people may describe crushing chest pain by saying that it feels like an elephant is sitting on the chest. When it comes to describing pain, it could be very different – burning, stabbing, dull, and much more. Emoji can help quickly translate this information and be very accurate.

There are patients that don’t speak English or patients who have problems describing their symptoms because of other reasons. In such cases, using visual language will make it possible for doctors to understand patients and for patients to follow their instructions accurately. Telehealth is widely used today and adding emojis to provide more details to communication is a great idea that will surely help both specialists and patients.

What do you think about the use of emojis in medicine? Do you think they can be useful? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below! 

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