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Does healthcare need emoji? – Source

Last September, Dr. Shuhan He, a faculty member at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Computer Science Lab, contributed an article to the Journal of the American Medical Association drawing attention to the creation of a comprehensive set of medical emoji. “The next step is for the medical community to better leverage these hard-won emoji. But how? And why?” he wrote.

In his piece, the doctor outlined a rash of ideas for how clinicians could use these digital hieroglyphs. The use cases range from helping patients communicate their symptoms or pain levels to making discharge instructions more comprehensible. Plus, he noted, more of medicine is happening online. It makes sense that the healthcare community should embrace the natural language of digital spaces.

Over the past six years, medical emoji have slowly been seeping into the lexicon defined by the Unicode Consortium standards body. That started with a syringe and pill in 2016 and has since expanded to some 30 emoji…

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