Ahead of this week’s American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) Annual Meeting (March 25-29), VisualDx today announced it is celebrating the one-year anniversary of Project IMPACT (Improving Medicine’s Power to Address Care and Treatment), a global effort to reduce disparities in medicine, highlight ways to bridge gaps of knowledge, and improve healthcare outcomes for patients of color. Since launching in March 2021, Project IMPACT has reached 1.5 million healthcare professionals and students globally and has garnered early notoriety and momentum with support from inaugural members like the Skin of Color Society (SOCS) and New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Group. Project IMPACT now boasts eight collaborating organizations, including the AAD, American Medical Women’s Association, and the Student National Medical Association.
Dark skin is significantly underrepresented in medical literature and curricula, comprising an average of just 4.5% of images in medical textbooks. Consequently, clinicians of all licensures and specialties are often insufficiently trained to recognize disease patterns in patients of color. To confront this issue, VisualDx, SOCS, and NEJM Group organized a webinar series in 2020 to educate providers on structural racism in medicine, disease patterns in dark skin types, and culturally competent care. Following the positive response from more than 32,000 registrants representing nearly 100 countries, VisualDx launched Project IMPACT to raise awareness and drive adoption of educational and clinical resources and solutions that bolster clinicians’ ability to accurately diagnose disease in black and brown skin and improve health equity.
“Project IMPACT was born out of the concept that healthcare providers who diagnose and treat dermatologic conditions must be able to recognize disease in all skin colors,” said Nada Elbuluk, MD, MSc, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and Director of Clinical Impact at VisualDx. “I am excited to see how far Project IMPACT has spread and what a positive influence it has had on practicing clinicians, medical students, and patients alike. At Project IMPACT and at VisualDx, we are trying to address healthcare disparities and work toward equity and better outcomes for all, and by rallying people around a singular effort, we can do so. For Project IMPACT’s second year, our goal is to add even more collaborators and continue to spread the message of inclusion.”
Project IMPACT not only continues to bring awareness to the issue of health equity but remains committed to finding solutions. In doing so, VisualDx encourages students, educators, clinicians, and patients working toward greater health equity to “Take the Pledge” to commit to making an impact and share their stories on social media using the hashtag #ProjectIMPACT. To date, representatives from 22 countries have committed to do so. To learn more and join Project IMPACT, visit www.projectimpact.org.
VisualDx is exhibiting at the AAD Annual Meeting from March 25-29 in Boston. The conference brings together thousands of industry leaders and offers hundreds of educational sessions covering the breadth of the specialty. To learn more about VisualDx and Project IMPACT, stop by booth 2798.