Rochester, NY, August 20, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Logical Images, Inc., the expert source for visual clinical decision support (CDSS), realized they were witnessing the emergence of a serious public health concern in 2010 when physicians on opposite sides of the country began submitting strikingly similar photographs of patients with dark purple patches on their ears, cheeks, and face.
The physicians – Noah Craft, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Dermatology and Infectious Disease at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Mary Gail Mercurio, MD, Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Rochester, and Lindy Fox, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at UCSf in San Francisco – are all on the editorial board of Logical Images’ clinical decision support system for diagnostic accuracy, VisualDx. When they compared images from all three locations – Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Rochester, NY – they discovered a common theme: their patients had used cocaine prior to seeking medical treatment.
The result was the sense of a potentially significant new health problem, as multiple cases and images were being submitted to Logical Images from different locations across the US. Recognizing the public health implications, Logical Images updated their databases immediately, adding the new images plus medical information to VisualDx within 2 weeks of identifying the public health condition in June of 2010. “Though it’s hitting the press now, this diagnosis has been in VisualDx for over 13 months,” says Dr. Art Papier, Chief Medical Information Officer for Logical Images.
Fast response time for trending public health problems is critical, and failure can be costly, as seen with the Anthrax scare in 2001 when the pertinent information was not readily available to many frontline physicians. Many people showed up at their doctor’s office concerned that their black scab was anthrax, while others rushed to emergency rooms, causing hospitals to shut down entire departments as a preparedness response. More recent public health concerns have included the “Superbug” MRSA and the “Swine Flu” H1N1 virus. And when environmental disasters such as Hurricane Katrina occur, emergency response teams need to quickly recognize the spread of infectious disease and provide appropriate care to patients. For each of these incidents, Logical Images’ community of image contributors and physician experts jumped to action to add the necessary clinical information to VisualDx.
The release by Logical Images of photographs showing cocaine levamisole toxicity into the online version of VisualDx provided the most current and accurate disease information to physicians at the point of care across the country.
Dr. James Shoemaker, Jr. of Elkhart Emergency Physicians Inc. comments on Visual Dx as an essential tool, “As an Attending Emergency Physician in a busy community emergency Department, being able to examine the undifferentiated patient and separate the wheat from the chaff is integral in my role to determine the 'sick' versus the 'not sick.' Many patients present with dermatological manifestations of disease that help to accurately diagnose and treat many medical problems. VisualDx has quickly become my go-to source for differential streamlining and patient management. This is often done on-the-fly at the patient's bedside utilizing my iPad application. A skilled craftsman is only as good as the tools he possesses and knows how to use -- VisualDx has quickly come to the forefront as an essential tool in the management of undifferentiated patients.”
Since 2001, Departments of Health across the nation have turned to VisualDx to help disseminate their breaking public health alerts within hospitals and educate physicians on infectious and reportable diseases.
About Logical Images
Logical Images has built the most comprehensive digital medical image library, with over 80,000 images representing all ages and skin types. This extensive collection is the foundation for their professional resource VisualDx and their patient education resource Skinsight. Both tools were designed to speed disease recognition for faster, more accurate decision making and patient understanding. www.visualdx.com / www.skinsight.com.
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