[E-learning in Healthcare] Monthly Discussion Feb 2012

Feb 23, 2012

Welcome to the monthly E-Learning in Healthcare discussion!
There has been such an awesome response from the community that Doug Mattson and I have taken a first leap into some of the eLearning Healthcare questions and topics posed.

THIS MONTH’S TOPIC: Healthcare Pictures Worth a 1000 words…

Once you have used and adapted the Microsoft Clip Art images, where do you go and find more images?

Here is a short list to strart off the discussion:

[Note to Self]…ALWAYS check copyright, and or request permission.

We would love to hear from you – Please reply & share your favorite sources of images that work well in healthcare-related elearning.  If you have any ideas for future monthly discussion topics please send a private message to us (Doug Mattson & Nita Venter) .

Take Care -

52 Replies
Phil Mayor

Hi Nita, Doug

We create a lot of images in house either through photoshop or taking picture, we also have subscriptions to fotolia and shutterstock.  We do have a national NHS image library but it is very limited

I know a colleague who works in another organisation who has a wardrobe of uniforms and advertises on the intranet for "actors" to pose and take picture/videos and seems to be very successful


Greg Friese

I do a couple of things: 

1) Use my family and friends for staging photos of pre-hospital emergencies (you can see some examples here, http://www.flickr.com/photos/gfriese/sets/72157623188395020/)

2) Contract with photographers that specialize in pre-hospital emergency photography and can capture actual scene/incident photos

3) Receive permission from device/equipment manufacturers to use images of their products in use

4) Scour Govt, public domain image libraries like CDC and FEMA

I have a colleague that advertises on Craigs List for people with very specific disease conditions for in studio or in situ photo shoots. He has had great success in his large urban area finding patients. 


Greg Friese

Medical illustrator advice ... 

1) Buy the LifeART collections of anatomy and images

2) Use PowerPoint image editing and animation tools to convert to your specific needs

3) Convert those PPT images and animations to Flash using AP and extracting the .swf for the slide (screenr demo https://player.vimeo.com/video/148913067)

My attempts to hire a medical illustrator have always been thwarted when the price for a single illustration or short (less than 10 second animation) exceeds the total course budget. 


Doug Mattson

Great information everyone!  Thanks for sharing!

We have a subscription to Thinkstock and I also use iStock quite a bit...when I can't find what I want in Thinkstock. I also like to use elearningbrothers.

Over the years I've become pretty proficient at the process of searching for the right images I need. If I don't have something specific or can't find the exact image that I have in my head, I'll start out with a more general search. The results of the general search will then inspire other ideas or generate better terms to use in order to narrow my search.

Greg, I have had the same experience with medical illustrators. The cost has been a barrier.


Wendy Garrison

Thanks Nita and Doug for taking on this discussion board. I am excited to be able to learn and share.

Perfect timing for this, too, as we are starting the budget process for the next fiscal year now. Any thoughts on how much I should budget? I am a one man band here and it doesn't look like anyone has purchased anything before me.

deirdre shead

Thanks Nita and Doug for forming this group!  It sounds like you're already off to a great start.  For our photos we use Shutterstock : http://www.shutterstock.com/   

We do take our own photos and videos if we need something specific for a product or scenario we're building.  We keep a small wardrobe of medical clothing and recently purchased new lighting equipment. 

I'm excited about this group. Can't wait for more posts.

Greg Friese

In the past teaching hospitals had medical photographers on staff. I am guessing with the proliferation of digital cameras and easy editing most clinicians take their own photos rather than using a staff photographer, but that might not be the case in all large institutions.

Does anyone have access to a medical photographer in their workplace? 

Lorraine Hughes

Thanks to all for great suggestions on acquiring photos to use in our WBTs! At St.Vincent we have a subscription to Clipart.com which has many medical related photos and a few clipart. There are two of us on our team that are photography hobbyist so we shoot many of our own photos. We find the staff is really engaged in the WBTs when they see their own staff members.

Annica Rosvall

Hi everyone!

At our hospital we are two colleagues working with e-learning. We usually take our own pictures. It´s just like Lorraine wrote: The staff gets more engaged and I believe that they do appreciate recognising themself (or a colleague) in the pictures.

Sometimes I use pictures from "Free digital photos" http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Health_And_Beauty_g66.html

Catharina Olsson

On the topic of medical illustrators. We are offering illustration services. It is beneficial to utilize the same illustrator for a length of  time. The initial learning curve makes the first set of illustrations time consuming for both custumer and producer and rather expensive. But along the line of cooperation the customer learns and the illustrator too, reducing production time and getting illustrations very quickly and to a smaller cost. There are handy 3D tools available to generate illustrations of people, settings and instruments. Our illustrator uses Deep Exploration to convert CAD-models, and then manipulate them further using 3D Studio Max.

Jerome Di Pietro

For anyone feeling a bit more adventurous, and keen on trying to make their own 3D images and animations... DAZ have recently made most of their product range entirely free:

That's $800 worth of software for nothing!

As far as I can see, there doesn't seem to be a catch, but it's certainly is an interesting business model: once you use DAZ Studio the company hopes to make money from people paying for all the ad-on packs available through their website. For example $49.95 for the Anatomy pack: http://www.daz3d.com/i/3d-models/-/anatomy-starter-bundle?item=13941

Debra  Wingfield

Thank you for starting this group!  Throughout the past few years, we've become  amatuer photographers, illustrators and graphic designers by necessity.  We do have medical photographers and graphic designers in our organization, but we usually have to pre-book them and the wait can be long.  So, we purchased a digital camera and a pen tablet.

I have found a few libraries of images, etc. to use (some are better than ohers), including:

MedEdPortal, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

·         Repository for digital content

  • Peer reviewed and aaterial linked to educational competencies

End of Life/Palliative Education Resource Centre (EPERC)


  • Repository for digital content and Peer reviewed

The Health Education Assets Library (HEAL) - it's offline for maintenance currently


  • Repository for learning objects and Peer reviewed

Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT)


  • Links to other online resources with peer-review comments
Doug Mattson

Excellent resources, everyone!  Thank you for sharing them!

My wife is a Speech Pathologist at a neighboring healthcare facility/system.  The other evening I showed her a project I was working on and she mentioned that in the online programs she needs to complete (for her organization) she would like to see more of the actual staff rather than stock images.  So, Lorraine and Annica - you're right!  I think I will try that on my next project.  I'm a little nervous that it will add a fair amount of extra time to the project.  Do you have any suggestions for how to keep the process lean?  

In the video world I have used a "shot sheet".  Do you plan out the exact photos you want/need (like a shot sheet) and coordinate the details prior to going out on a shoot? or do you show up at a department or unit and simply ask for employee participation when you get there?


Sam Sternman

In our regional facilities in the Bay Area, I use www.clipart.com for much of my stock photo needs...with an annual subscription of under $160, it's a great addition to the photos and videos that I take internally (much like the rest of you, from what I've read). 

To complement the stock photos, I gather up 2-4 educators, each quarter, and we storm one of our hospital or clinic facilities with 4-6 cameras/video devices.  We let managment know that we're coming and we get volunteers from the staff to be our models (with release forms in hand).  This process results in 1000-1500 pictures per visit and we store the images on a shared network drive for all of us to access later.  We take pictures of everything, clinical or not, from Exit signs to patient-staff interactions.  It's a great way to build (and keep building) a library of images.

Cheers from California...hope to keep up with your group, this is super interesting...

-Sam (Sutter Health)

Sue Raffensperger

Greg Friese said:

In the past teaching hospitals had medical photographers on staff. I am guessing with the proliferation of digital cameras and easy editing most clinicians take their own photos rather than using a staff photographer, but that might not be the case in all large institutions.

Does anyone have access to a medical photographer in their workplace? 

My workplace has a photographer as well as a videographer and both are used extensively by physicians to take images and/or videos of surgeries, procedures, etc.  I'm not certain how much they have done with regard to staging shots leading up to medical emergencies.

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