several different plaques are shown that may not have red borders — some appear more white, while others appear darker. This allows psoriasis to be viewed in a more diverse range than what a student or physician may typically think of, which is important for identification in future clinical practice.” And the tool’s usefulness extends beyond dermatology, the students discovered. “For endocrine, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular diseases, the outward appearance of these conditions may be viewed on diverse patients, which trains one’s brain to see the characteristic features of fat buildup, bloating or blanching on all skin types, instead of solely on the white patient typically shown in textbooks,” says Krevh.
MAKING A RESOURCE A REALITY Dr. Mostow was already a proponent of VisualDx, which he used at Cleveland Clinic Akron General. The only thing standing between NEOMED and this diagnostic tool was a licensing fee. That’s when Dr. Mostow turned to a pair of anonymous donors who had set up a skin cancer and wound education Three conditions, each of which looks different depending on the patient’s skin color: Top, fund at NEOMED Foundation. Being cellulitis; middle, an exanthematous drug eruption; bottom, I Immunoglobulin A vasculitis. able to diagnose skin of every color just made sense to Dr. Mostow, who explains, Excel sheet to back up Eley’s observation. He shared an article “I think this is a really important part of NEOMED’s diverin The Journal of the American Academy Dermatology that had sity, equity and inclusion mission, and it has the potential to recently reviewed 15,445 images in commonly used resources make a big impact on both faculty and students.” The donors agreed to allow Dr. Mostow to use the fund for — six textbooks, two online resources — and found that only 19.5% were dark-skinned images. But one online resource licensing. As of January, VisualDx became a resource on cammentioned in the article included more dark-skinned images pus. Now, any eligible NEOMED Library user can access the than the rest: VisualDx. tool, on campus or off, via a website. Students in the DermaMultiple images are provided for skin conditions, including tology Interest Group have taken it upon themselves to help eczema, psoriasis and melanoma. their peers get familiar with the new tool, with options such as participating in VisualDx national seminars held each month. Rachel Krevh explains, “Under the images for psoriasis in the dermatology section, for example, there are a variety of As Krevh says, “It’s important for us students to fine-tune skin colors represented, each showing the inflammation and our recognition skills and stay updated on new findings for plaque formation. On white skin, these plaques may be rechealth conditions that affect all races, genders, ethnicities — ognized as white with red margins. On black or brown skin, and ultimately, humankind.”
NORTHEAST OHIO MEDIC AL UNIVERSITY