While the healthcare industry may not be the most obvious for creatives to work in, creative work has always been present within healthcare: from the pharmacy logo, designed over 2,000 years ago, to the friendly interface on the mental health app you may be using.

Furthermore, thanks to constant evolutions in both technology and attitudes, creatives are needed more than ever to help make sense of all the new information and possibilities. This means anything from cutting-edge virtual reality experiences and creative coding, to designing easy-to-understand labels and diagrams. The space only continues to evolve.

We often speak about advances in artificial intelligence, or AI, in our Wishu Web3 newsletter for creatives but this tech is also giving medical professionals the power to create groundbreaking new ways to predict diseases and illnesses, long before symptoms appear—whether it’s dementia, tumour regrowth or rare forms of brain cancer in children.

However, though full of promise, like many evolving industries, these advancements don’t come without dangers. These systems depend on large scale sharing of patient data, which has led to concerns over privacy and data leaks, as well as the unauthorised collection of personal patient information—which has been sold on the dark web for high prices. 

But while there’s a long way to go to mitigate these issues, the industry is learning as it innovates, which in turn offers up space and the opportunity for creatives to be part of possible solutions.

From the traditional to the technological, there’s space in the industry for almost every type of creative. With simulation-based therapy predicted to be the next big thing, experienced designers and environment artists will likely be in high demand. And as users begin to take control of their personal wellbeing and health using wellness apps, UX/UI designers will be required to create accessible and engaging interfaces so that users can manage their conditions independently, not to mention the non-touch devices needed as a result of the pandemic. Products such as holograms will need 3D visual design and animation designers to produce.

Healthcare branding is changing rapidly, too, with medical products and brands in recent years undergoing snazzy branding updates by large medical communication agencies. This includes Moderna, one of the companies responsible for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Illustrators, photographers and art curators can also find a space in healthcare—whether that’s transforming medical briefs into easily understandable graphic information, or working with hospitals to curate art to help boost patient and staff morale.

Many studios are already working with healthcare. There’s also a growing number of boutique healthcare communication studios like minds + assembly, Gene Agency and Spark Health. In these studios, creatives from storyboarders to strategists work in tandem with medical professionals to create anything from branding for new pharmaceutical products, to awareness campaigns for misdiagnosed illnesses. These studios also serve a growing number of start-ups in the industry that aim to disrupt the at-times frustrating process of receiving treatment—from telemedicine apps to mental health therapy messaging services.

There are opportunities in health, and people are taking control of the narrative around it through creativity. Today there are creatives who are committing to fighting regulation, the way Big Pharma [the pharmaceutical industry] works and how healthcare is communicated.

Finally, the beauty with healthcare and creativity is its potential for collaboration. PhDs and MDs on staff can work shoulder-to-shoulder with designers, writers and creatives. If the creative can grasp just a baseline understanding, it just brings us closer to creating something that’s more meaningful or authentic.

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