Sunday, April 24, 2016

Art in Medicine

   Art and health are two extremely different topics that are surprisingly related in a number of ways.   Scientific observations that relate to the medical field are heavily reliant on certain types of art.  This relationship is outlined in the Hippocratic Oath which outlines the importance of the coalition between the two.  It urges doctors to remember that artistic abilities may, at times, be preferred to scientific ones.  Especially in the time of Hippocrates, art was crucial to the success or failure of medical procedures and knowledge.
One part of medicine that heavily involves the use of art is MRI's.  MRI's are unique because they operate through aural techniques.  This was a groundbreaking advancement that proved it was possible to create a visual image through the use of sound and magnets.  Silvia Casini argues that ultrasounds portrait like qualities due to its “performative” qualities.  The advancements in this form of art have made it possible to identify tumors, and problems with patient’s brain structures without having to perform further procedures.

An example of an individual who is combining art with medicine is Kevin Warwick.  Warwick has found a way to insert an electronic chip into his nerves to track his movements and gather information.  After Warwick tracks his movements he can identify useful information on his lifestyle and methods of moving.  In a way, Warwick has begun to merge himself with a computer.  He has begun experimenting with opening doors, turning on lights, and even operating a computer without ever lifting a finger.  

In The Architecture of Life, Donald Ingber describes just how complex life is.  The human body is made up of an extensive anatomy that is still not completely understood by the scientific world.  The advancements in art have made practices significantly better, faster, easier, and more reliant.  It has allowed doctors to go from simply drawing a picture of what they see anatomically, to being able to see inside a body by performing a simple 15 minute procedure. 

-Brian Sussex


Casini, Silvia. "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as Mirror and Portrait: MRI Configurations between Science and the Arts." Configurations 19.1 (2011): 73-99. Web.
Ingber, Donal E. The Architecture of Life. N.p.: Scientific America, 1998. Print.
"Kevin Warwick." Kevin Warwick. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <>.
Tyson, Peter. "The Hippocratic Oath Today." PBS. PBS, 27 Mar. 2001. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <>.
Voxdotcom. "Life Looks Really Different through an MRI Machine." YouTube. YouTube, 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <>.

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