Information for patients: should we reconsider our assumptions?




In order to take medicines correctly, it is essential that people receive suitable information. Without information it is difficult to consider, take, store, and discard medicines. At the moment, many people have difficulties to find, read, understand, and apply information about medicines. In the European Union, most information about medicines is presented in a text format. Very few visuals are used. Furthermore, information about medicines does not make much use of the digital opportunities. The logical next steps are to improve the design of visual information about medicines, and to embrace digital opportunities. However, the regulatory frameworks that govern information about medicines need to be modified. The regulations need to focus on usability, understanding, findability, and relevance. Experiments and prototypes are essential to find out what kinds of information and formats are effective. This requires a shift towards a ‘digital design strategy based on healthcare outcomes.’


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Biografia do Autor

Karel van der Waarde, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland; University of Hasselt, Belgium

Karel van der Waarde studied graphic design in the Netherlands (The Design Academy, Eindhoven), and the UK (De Montfort University (Leicester), and Reading University). He started in 1995 a design - research consultancy in Belgium. The company develops and tests patient information leaflets, instructions, forms, and protocols in both digital and analogue formats. Most of the projects are related to information about medicines for patients, doctors and pharmacists. ( In 2023 he teaches at BA, MA, and PhD level at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Switzerland), and University of Hasselt (Belgium). He is a board member of International Institute for Information Design (IIID, Vienna, Austria) and the International Plain Language Federation (IPLF), and editorial board member of Information Design Journal, Hyphen, She Ji, and Visible Language.




Como Citar

van der Waarde, K. (2023). Information for patients: should we reconsider our assumptions?. InfoDesign - Revista Brasileira De Design Da Informação, 20(2).