The following article that appeared a few days ago fascinated me.
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana State Department of Health has issued the deployment of visual clinical decision support systems that will be installed in 53 sites across the state to improve diagnoses and emergency preparedness in hospitals and clinics.
The pilot program will distribute the clinical decision support software system, VisualDx, throughout 42 hospitals and 11 local health departments and clinics in Indiana. The software system provides access to more than 14,000 images that can help diagnose more than 800 visually identifiable diseases, drug reactions or infections.
"I have practiced tropical medicine all over the world. I am very impressed by the ability of VisualDx to generate a working differential diagnosis from a description of skin lesions and signs that is accurate and includes both the common and exotic," said Ted Bailey, MD, Indiana State Health assistant commissioner, response operators and CMO.
VisualDx meets Health Resources and Services Administration and Centers for Disease Control bioterrorism preparedness requirements and supports Health and Human Services pandemic flu preparedness plan to prevent and protect the spread of disease.
The software system serves to reduce patient referrals to specialists by providing access to a quick second opinion. It also helps to cut down cost when used in conjunction with telemedicine and remote patient care.
Continue reading here:
Having read this I thought it was worth following up.
A quick Google search found what I needed – the home page.
The software system is described as follows:
VisualDx – visual clinical decision support software
VisualDx is a breakthrough system designed to give general practitioners the diagnostic expertise of specialists. It provides instant access to more than 14,000 images that can help diagnose more than 800 visually identifiable diseases, drug reactions, or infections.
Medical photos merged with clinical info
To use the technology, clinicians enter their patient's symptoms and other clinical findings such as lesion type, body location, medical history, medications, etc., then the system displays photographs and key clinical information on all relevant diagnoses for quick, side-by-side comparison to their patient.
VisualDx is organized to match the way a doctor thinks about symptoms and diagnoses and presents multiple images of each disease, showing how each might look at different stages and in people of different ages and races. In addition, VisualDx facilitates rapid access to condition-specific, actionable clinical information and insight from physician experts, including:
- Diagnosis synopsis
- Look for
- Best Tests
- Diagnostic Pearls
- Management Pearls
Learn more about how VisualDx can benefit you
Click your focus area for specific information:
- Public Health
- Primary Care/Health Orgs
- Medical Education
- Rural Health
- Correctional Health
Better still there is a roughly three minute video that explains how it all works.
The demo is a great introduction and well worth a watch.
The really good thing is that say you tell the software you have a patient with a peripherally distributed vesicular rash and that the patient has recently been to the tropics if will show you all the possibilities – including diseases you have never seen before – or possibly even heard of – and you can decide visually what you are dealing with.
The system then explains the confirmatory tests and treatment etc.
All in all just a fabulous resource for emergency departments and the like – especially if near international travel gateways.