Center for Digital Health

CDH Seminar 2/2: "Emoji for the Medical Community: Representation, Patient Reported Outcomes, and Information Theory"

Promotional image for Dr. Shuhan He's talk on "Emoji for the Medical Community"

Emoji occupies the same status as the English letter A, or pictorial Chinese symbols within a universal system called Unicode. This code allows common agreement and translation of language between all devices worldwide, and is the common code for All Apple, Android, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, and even most Electronic Medical Records today.

In 2019, the Anatomical Heart EmojiLungs Emoji Emoji were accepted into Unicode and are available on devices worldwide, but today there still is still no liver, kidney, or spine emoji. When we ask about sharp/stabbing Knife emoji, thunderclap Lightning bolt emoji, pounding Hammer emoji, or fiery Fire emoji pain, we are communicating and transmitting meaning from one person to another. Emoji, and thus digital medicine, can help communicate with patients in a modern, inclusive, and accessible way. Come learn about the fight for inclusion and representation for more medical Emoji, and how Emoji, as a pictorial communication method, can serve as a global open-source visual analogue scale for digital information.

Speaker Bio

Shuhan He, MD is a dual faculty member in the Department of Emergency Medicine and Lab of Computer Science at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is Director for Digital Growth Strategy at the MGH Center for Innovation in Digital Healthcare (CIDH) and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was the author of the Anatomic heart and lung Emoii that are available now on mobile devices worldwide and senior author of a JAMA article entitled Emoji for the Medical Community, describing the importance of Emoji in medicine.