Medical Images for Education and Research

The paradox of digital imagery: Many dermatology departments no longer have a departmental image collection for education, research, and publication.

VisualDx is a physician-led organization committed to improving medical decision making, medical education, and research. We provide practical tools, methods, and resources to people and departments passionate about medical imagery. We believe that medical imagery and related case data require the same sort of editorial control and quality as written medical publications. VisualDx is used and viewed millions of times each year. We partner with professionals so their imagery and knowledge can be brought to the point of care and to medical education. Our goal is to have a community of professionals interested in impact.

Laptop showing medical images from the VisualDx dermatology atlas

With 20 years of systematic, thoughtful collecting of professional medical images and associated de-identified case data, VisualDx is making a long-term commitment to protecting and preserving the rich, visual history of dermatology. We are experts in managing medical images and related case data, and doing so with respect to patient confidentiality and the ethics of medical publication. We offer services, resources, and guidance to help you build or improve a professional medical teaching collection.

Submit Your Photos

VisualDx photo contributors are part of a major global effort to improve healthcare outcomes—especially for people of color—by ensuring that clinicians and students have access to a diverse set of clinical images.

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Secure Collection Management: What We Do

  • Create and maintain a professional centralized teaching collection for you or your department
  • Provide secure access to your medical images with controlled, customized sharing
  • Develop HIPAA-compliant, de-identified versions of your images through careful cropping and other editing techniques
  • Assign searchable metadata by cataloging images using a controlled vocabulary specific to medicine
  • Archive for longevity by maintaining master/original image files stored in a multi-level archiving system
  • Digitize film-based collections
An image showcasing VisualDx interfacing with a database


Metadata integrity—employing a lexicon specific to dermatology

Our multiaxial image and case repository matches the language of medicine and healthcare, allowing intuitive retrieval of cases, images, and content. Once scanned, each image is tagged with searchable terms (diagnosis, skin type, body location, and lesion type).

of the general population
in developing countries has skin disease
medical image resource
for representation of dark skin
of images in VisualDx
are skin type IV, V, VI

Bringing Your Imagery and Knowledge to the Point of Care and to Medical Education

Our goal with images is to represent the full spectrum of human disease across skin types, body location, morphologic variation, and other diagnostic features. To adequately capture the immense variation inherent in disease requires access to hundreds of specialized image collections that span dermatology, ophthalmology, oral medicine, infectious disease, emergency medicine, radiology, and pathology. For this reason, we’ve established partnerships with many exceptional learning institutions and individuals who have contributed their images toward this effort.

Contributors to VisualDx become part of a major global effort to improve healthcare by empowering clinicians to make better medical decisions. Our products help with diagnosis, treatment, self-education, and patient communication.

An Ongoing Commitment to Equity in Medicine

VisualDx has been improving diagnosis in skin of color for more than 20 years. Join us and many of the world’s leading health systems and universities as we reduce bias and disparities in medical knowledge.

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A woman uses a magnifying glass to view slides of medical images on a light table

Going Digital Takes Know-How

Successfully digitizing a photographic collection requires sophisticated scanning equipment, highly skilled operators, and an efficient, thoughtful workflow. VisualDx imaging specialists are highly knowledgeable and experienced in clinical image-making and are familiar with the special nature of skin disease, subtle variation, and morphology. Each image is carefully evaluated and optimized after scanning to restore the original intent and maintain consistent overall quality.

An original medical image on the left and the professionally restored image on the right

Our Process—Restoring and Preserving Valuable Clinical Information

Deterioration undermines the accuracy of a medical image by detracting from or obscuring visual information. Virtually all image-based image collections have suffered some form of loss. The most common factors and accelerants of deterioration are improper non-archival storage materials, careless handling, and unstable environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, and light exposure).

Using Images from VisualDx

Medical images play an important role in educating students, residents, and even seasoned providers. The VisualDx image library and dark skin atlas has been developed through partnerships with exceptional learning institutions and providers. These contributors strongly believe in the importance of images to enhance scholarship, teaching, and learning in medicine. VisualDx shares this belief. In support of shared learning, please see our guidelines for the use of images and Sympticons™ in educational and non-commercial settings.

image use policy

Contact us to contribute your medical images or learn more about our collection process.

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