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Partnership with Family Doctor Expands VisualDx Medical Library, Enhances Machine Learning Capabilities

Twenty-five thousand of the best medical images representing a more diverse range of skin colors are joining VisualDx's image library, thanks to the award-winning physician who took them. Dr. Richard Usatine, a family physician and professor of dermatology at the University of Texas Health San Antonio, has joined the VisualDx editorial board and is sharing thousands of the clinical images he has taken throughout his long career.

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Dr. Usatine is a serious photographer who has focused on humanitarian work globally and at home in the United States. His photographs include images from medical mission trips that he has led with medical students to Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Panama.  He is the founding director of the Skin Clinic in San Antonio, Texas that cares for under-served patients with medical and surgical needs. He also has been providing health care to persons experiencing homelessness through free clinics that he has established with medical students in California and Texas.

His collection is unique in that a large percentage of his images are of patients with darker skin.  Diseases can present differently on a range of skin tones. The ability to better represent people of color with dermatological diseases and conditions is a mission of both VisualDx and Dr. Usatine. His images will now be a major asset to clinicians because having access to pictures that match patient skin tones can help guide a more accurate diagnosis. It also helps the patient when he or she can see for themselves how their condition compares.

Dr. Richard Usatine

 

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Dr. Usatine examines a patient in rural Ethiopia during a medical mission trip with a group of medical students from his university.

 

"My passion for humanitarian care, photography, teaching and writing has given me the energy to take and catalog tens of thousands of images to benefit healthcare education and patient care. I am thankful to my patients who have generously allowed me to photograph their ailments and my students (including practicing clinicians) who have appreciated the images to enhance their education. It is very rewarding to use my clinical experiences to pay it forward for the next generation of clinicians and their patients," said Dr. Usatine.

"Providing better patient care is at the heart of our mission at VisualDx. The inclusion of this broad collection of images helps create that opportunity for clinicians and students around the world," said Art Papier, MD, CEO, VisualDx.

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Not only will these images help the clinicians who use VisualDx and their patients, they will also feed into VisualDx's machine learning processes used for DermExpert and Aysa. DermExpert allows clinicians to take a picture of a patient's skin condition at the point of care. Apple's CoreML technology runs the picture against VisualDx's medical library for analysis and identification, then adds the analysis into the differential builder in VisualDx for the clinician to complete. Adding thousands of high-quality clinical pictures to our library helps Apple's CoreML technology more accurately analyze clinicians' pictures.

An example of a rare, tropical disease: podoconiosis in an Ethiopian man.

 

Dr. Usatine is a distinguished teaching professor of dermatology, family medicine and medical humanities at University of Texas Health in San Antonio. He is the lead author of eight published books (including 3 editions of the Color Atlas of Family Medicine). He has published over 120 journal articles and won numerous teaching and humanitarian awards. His photography of skin disorders has been used in many books, journal articles and educational websites. He is the associate editor of the Journal of Family Practice and is the national chair of the yearly Skin Course through the American Academy of Family Physicians since 2006. He uses VisualDx regularly for his own patients and learners and is delighted to become part of the VisualDx team.

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An example of a common diagnosis: Pomade acne in an African-American woman.

 

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Dr. Usatine hugging a young girl in rural Ethiopia who is healing from her medical illnesses. She is feeling much better today after she was diagnosed and treated for her illness by Dr. Usatine's medical team and the local health system over the past year.

 

About VisualDx

VisualDx is an award-winning diagnostic clinical decision support system that has become the standard electronic resource at more than half of U.S. medical schools and more than 1,500 hospitals and institutions nationwide.  VisualDx combines clinical search with the world's best medical image library, plus medical knowledge from experts to help with diagnosis, treatment, self-education, and patient communication. Expanding to provide diagnostic decision support across General Medicine, the new VisualDx brings increased speed and accuracy to the art of diagnosis. Learn more at www.visualdx.com.

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