Katie McCurdy
Jul 12, 2018 · 4 min read

For the last few months I’ve been working on a new company to help patients organize and visualize their health stories — Pictal Health. I come from a human-centered design background, and in my past work I have often used design principles to provide creative constraints and help my team make good decisions over the course of a project. So in designing this new venture, I am trying to use similar principles and statements to speak clearly about what Pictal Health is trying to do, the impact we hope to make, and how we want to work.

Below is Pictal Health’s purpose, vision and values, which the book Story Driven helped me develop. While the specific products or services we create may change over time, I hope these core statements will remain fairly consistent. So far they have helped me get clear about what I’m working on, make better use of my time, and make better decisions; I hope they also help others understand what I’m up to.


Pictal Health uses visual tools to help doctors and patients work together better so patients can get the diagnosis and treatment they need and get back to their lives.

We aim to increase patients’ confidence and hope, help patients and doctors collaborate and communicate better, and help reduce providers’ feeling of burnout.


We imagine an amazing future in which Pictal Health has helped make personal health visualization the new standard, patients drive their own health narrative, doctors and patients are true partners, and rates of undiagnosed and misdiagnosed patients plummet as a result.


We are:


We speak up; we are not afraid to do the right thing.


We work together efficiently; great communication and mutual respect is our thing.

This is a mind meld.


We integrate with local and online communities; give back; lift up and support others.


We always follow a human-centered design process.


We always work from a place of understanding.


We work from principles to keep focus; we work intensely.


We share our work to build greater knowledge.


Life is short; we aim to make a difference today. We ship.


We do what we say we will do.


Our heart is in the work.

Visual, always

We make meetings and concepts visual, no excuses.

And, we do no harm

We we do our best to keep patients and their information safe.

That’s it. Easy, but hard. I’m curious whether others have used these types of values in start-ups and how this has helped (or not). ❤

Pictal Health

Turning health histories into visual stories

Katie McCurdy

Written by

Designer and researcher focusing on healthcare; founder of Pictal Health; autoimmune patient; chocolate-eater. katiemccurdy.com and pictalhealth.com

Pictal Health

Turning health histories into visual stories

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