In this post, you will learn about the 5 different types of medical art. You might not know it, but medical artists have the wonderful job of turning a scan or photograph into something 3D that can be used to help doctors better understand a patients condition and make more informed decisions.

What is Medical Art?

Medical art is very similar to 3D modeling, where a medical artist creates images of anatomy that can be used for teaching tools or visualization purposes. A medical artist may create 3D models of human anatomy, such as arms and legs, for example. They may also create photorealistic images which show how cancerous cells look under a microscope. In medical school, students use these images to learn about body parts and common imaging techniques.


What Is Subjective Medical Art?

Subjective medical art involves taking what doctors or patients tell you about a symptom and turning that into an image. Doctors ask patients to describe their symptoms, so by having the patient describe the symptoms, you can then create a 3D model of what you think that might be. However, subjective medical art is more than just creating images from descriptions. You need to have a sound understanding of anatomy and physiology to truly understand how your patient might be feeling. You also need to have a thorough understanding of the disease and how it affects the human body.


What Is Objective Medical Art?

Objective medical art is very similar to subjective medical art, except you are creating images from physical signs and symptoms. Instead of taking your patients word for it, you are actually using objective measures, such as imaging techniques or lab tests, to get an accurate idea of what’s going on inside the body. Some of the most common objective measures are MRI scans, X-rays, and blood tests. In general, doctors use these types of imaging techniques to get a better understanding of what is going on inside the body.


The five types of medical art are; 3D renderings, hospital site maps, physical models, anatomical illustrations and virtual reality environments. Here is more information on each type of medical art:


3D Renderings

3D renderings are very similar to the model-making we did as kids, and in some cases, I think it’s even more fun. With 3D renderings, you start with a scan or photograph of the area of interest and use specialized software to create a realistic, three-dimensional view. Some of these programs allow you to add color and texture to create a more realistic rendering. These can be used to make measurements or to understand the relationships between different parts of the body.


Hospital Site Maps

You may have seen these recently with pop-up text boxes and arrows pointing to areas of interest. These maps are easy for patients and their families to understand, and they are useful in coordinating care. The big advantage of this type of map is that you can use them for planning purposes. A medical team can use these maps to plan out their approach to treating a patient.


Physical Models

Physical models help the medical team understand the relative positions of specific body parts in relation to other body parts. For example, if one part is removed or otherwise changed, the model gives us an easy way to see how that change will affect the rest of the body. Models are also helpful for teaching medical students anatomy.


Anatomical Illustrations

These are beautifully illustrated drawings of the body showing all the major organs and their functions. These illustrations are excellent for students in anatomy classes because they help them visualize what they are learning. Medical illustrators go to great lengths in order to present clear images that will help a patient understand what is happening during surgery or procedures, thereby minimizing the risk of complications during surgery.


Virtual Reality Environments

Virtual reality environments are used to put a patient inside an environment. It can be used in conjunction with a physical model but it is also useful for patients who cannot travel to a medical setting for treatment. This type of art has really taken off in the last few years, and more and more hospitals are investing in this technology. It allows the patient and doctor to work together virtually, with both parties able to see each other’s movements and hear their voices over the Internet. It is especially useful for patients who are unable to travel, such as those who live on the other side of the world.


As you can see, there are many different types of medical art. Some of them may be new to you, but they can all be used in order to better understand your medical condition and make more informed decisions with your doctor.


This article is written for informational purposes only. This is not to be taken as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional before acting on any information found here.






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