Numbers can be tough to present, understand, and use.
Our team is working to make it easier.
Numbers are everywhere.
Much of the medical information people need for decision-making is quantitative. People encounter numbers in advertisements, lab results, drug labels, medication instructions, and more, every single day.
Numbers can be confusing.
Quantitative medical information can be tough to understand and use. Fortunately, a large body of evidence has identified presentation and visualization approaches that can improve our understanding.
The evidence is available.
Evidence shows that presentation format strongly influences our ability to understand numbers, for example, whether a risk is described as 5% or 5 in 100. If applied, this research could help us.
Now, we need to apply it.
Our job is to translate this evidence from research to real-world practice, to support professional decisions about presenting and visualizing numbers in health. This will ensure the quality of health information.
We're on a mission.
Making Numbers Meaningful advances the United States National Library of Medicine's mission of helping Americans understand, access, and use their own health data and other health information resources.
Our Next Few Years
This project is ongoing. We expect to release a freely available, interactive web-based system to help professionals make decisions about presenting numbers in early 2021.
We will publish additional resources to support patients and professionals as they become available. Please see our other pages for the latest updates.