Medicine PowerPoint: March 2010

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PowerPoint and Medicine, Design in Samsung Medical Center, Korea: Conversation with Sang-Eun Lee

Thursday, March 25, 2010
posted by Geetesh at 12:07 PM IST

Sang-Eun LeeSang-Eun Lee graduated with Master of Arts from the School of Arts in Korea, and works in the areas of medical illustration and photography for the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, Korea. She is a PowerPoint power user who uses a variety of advanced features for creation of Samsung Medical Center Template Designs, Q&A slides, and other stuff. Her projects are used by doctors for oral presentations or posters at symposiums, scientific lectures, learning books, and theses. Her activities in the hospital have been considered very valuable and important to over 7000 staff personnel, including doctors. She has been awarded as a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional) since 2009.

Geetesh: Tell us a little about your work using PowerPoint in the medicine sector.

Sang-Eun Lee: I create engaging and attractive slide decks with my medical knowledge from experiences in the hospital. The results are considered good enough to be used at external seminars and internal staff meetings. Many colleagues and faculty members (doctors) show strong interests in my lectures during the community seminars and have requested me frequently to help out with their work.

I use combination of PowerPoint and other applications to create digital illustration projects. I do use professional illustration software as well but have found that by using PowerPoint, I can quickly and easily help communicate accurate information during doctor’s visits.

Let me share this project which shows my workflow of creating medical illustration using PowerPoint.

  1. The medical staff brought me a video of a procedure that needs to be translated into illustrations. The illustrations are to be included in a video that will be submitted to a spring seminar in ophthalmology. As I watch the video, I save out the parts that I need to illustrate (see Figure 1).

    Figure 1: Saved pictures collected from a video clip

  2. I then sketch a simple thumbnails on paper to get a feedback from medical staff to ascertain that I have got the accuracy, and areas that need to highlighted right (see Figure 2).

    Figure 2: Preliminary sketches

  3. Finally, I draw this content using PowerPoint's drawing tools, referencing both sketch and video often in the process. Once this goes through an editing process, it can be used for slide show with animation if required to maximize the visual content we already have as a presentation (see Figure 3).

    Figure 3: Sequenced visual content
Geetesh: What’s different in the way that the folks in the medicine industry use PowerPoint, compared to how the business people use it?

Sang-Eun Lee: Both business people, and the medical industry share the commonality that they both use PowerPoint as a visual tool for creating presentations such as visual-heavy report materials, effective multimedia enabled materials, various drafts for internal and external use, etc.

However, using PowerPoint graphic tools to create mimetic diagrams and drawings of up-to-date medical information that the medical staff includes in their journals and presentations has been appraised as a new application of PowerPoint by audiences from around the world. This was obvious during this year's Microsoft MVP Global Summit’s MVP presentations.

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Monday, March 8, 2010
posted by Geetesh at 4:29 PM IST

Terry IrwinTerry Irwin is a consultant surgeon in Belfast, Northern Ireland working for the National Health Service (NHS) at the Royal Victoria Hospital, the main regional centre in Northern Ireland. His surgical specialty is colon and rectal surgery - always a good conversation stopper when people ask him what he does. His response is that he repairs waste disposal systems! Terry is also a long time PowerPoint user and co-author of a book on PowerPoint geared towards the designing of medical presentations. In this conversation, Terry talks about the the usage of PowerPoint in the medicine industry, and his training sessions.

Geetesh: What are the specific areas of PowerPoint usage by the medical community including doctors that sets it apart from mainstream PowerPoint use?

Terry: PowerPoint is of course the main method of supporting communication at medical meetings, training sessions and in teaching students. It is pretty much universal. While in many ways it has much in common with presentation content in other arenas, there are some subtle and some more significant differences.

Most scientific presentations have to be balanced, there is no product to hype up or sell. Instead the arguments for and against have to be presented, ideally with a clear conclusion. A major concern in clinical presentations is confidentiality. Much of the material centres around patient data, but we have to respect patients' rights at the same time. That is not always easy.

Also, medicine is rich in digital data. Radiology and endoscopy systems can now save digitised output such as CT and MR scans, ECGs, colonoscopies and keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. Many people don't realise that CT, ultrasound and MR images are 3D and can be reconstructed in some very clever ways. They can also be exported as videos. Showing full screen embedded video in a presentation is the holy grail of medical presentation at the minute and being able to overlay text and markers on top of the video without having to learn how to use video editing software, will revolutionise medical presentations.

Geetesh: Tell us more about the type of PowerPoint training you provide.

Terry: Medical staff and students are really good at speaking and really bad at content design! I guess this is no surprise, since they are used to speaking one to one with patients, and their hand-writing is terrible. Still, it drives me crazy that they cannot lay out slide content in a way that enhances their message, rather than distracting from it. I try to help with understanding basic concepts: legibility, color schemes, correct use of graphics, tables and artwork. I work hard at trying to eradicate those old PowerPoint annoyances of reading slides aloud, wordy slide content and irritating animation. In addition, my main focus is on content delivery. No surprises -- doctors are very clinical! They need to learn to tell a story, capture the attention of the audience and communicate their message. This comes easily to sales teams but it is counter-intuitive for medics.

A favorite, and one that always goes down well, is to take a presentation from one of the audience and do a make over on it. This has unearthed some fantastic lessons. Two good examples are the X-ray images photographed on a light box with a digital camera. The resulting color image can be an enormous file. Reducing this by resizing it, cropping out the edges and converting it to greyscale can reduce file size dramatically. A second classic was the beautiful pie chart that included a linked Excel spreadsheet containing three years of PhD research that had been left on a server at a meeting. So much for keeping your data safe from prying eyes!

I do a lot of one-to-one teaching with my own staff. After all, when they speak at meetings, they are representing me, so it had better be good. I also get invites to teach in some other departments in Queen's University in Belfast. On top of that I have been lucky enough to be asked to speak at meetings in places as far apart as Reykjavik, Prague, Athens and Beijing! A highlight was an invitation to spend a week teaching PowerPoint in Dubai. As I write this, I am about to travel to Cuba and Barbados with my other passion - I am the honorary secretary of the Travelling Surgical Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We will be doing a teaching session on communication skills in Barbados as part of this meeting. This will include two talks on presentations.

So PowerPoint has been good to me, I have got to meet a lot of interesting people along the way, including my good friend and co-author Julie Terberg and of course Geetesh Bajaj!

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