Elizabeth Hinton, MSIS, AHIP
Research & Instruction Librarian, Rowland Medical Library
Assistant Professor, Academic Information Services
Scientist-Educator, School of Nursing
University of Mississippi Medical Center
This is an update of my previous review of VisualDX that was published in the June 2015 issue of Doody’s Collection Development Monthly, available here: http://dcdm.doody.com/2015/06/a-review-of-visualdx/#more-974.
Used in over 1,700 settings worldwide and licensed by over 50% of U.S. medical schools, VisualDX is a visual clinical support tool for diagnosing visually identifiable diseases. The database covers over 1,300 pediatric and adult conditions with over 32,000 images, and is appropriate for the fields of dermatology, emergency medicine, internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, ophthalmology, and dentistry.
The Differential Builder is now available for use across general medicine, including dermatology, ENT/oral medicine, ophthalmology, neurology/psychiatry, cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary. The patient experience is enhanced with the addition of new patient engagement and handouts, and VisualDX’s patient education website, Skinsight. The consumer-focused website offers much of the same information found in VisualDX, presented in layperson’s terms. The new content most certainly expands the appeal of VisualDX beyond the specialty of dermatology.
Features & Functionality
VisualDX has rolled out several new homepage layouts since 2015. The Differential Builder view is much more visually pleasing, more streamlined, and easier for the end user to manipulate the tabs for diagnosis, emergencies, infections, and medication adverse events. Users may also select one of 13 home regions to localize results. “The Sympticon” is a new feature in the Differential Builder that visualizes a disease’s symptoms by highlighting affected organs and changing color according to the diagnosis. Symbols on the Sympticon indicate chief complaints such as pain (lightning bolt) or fever (thermometer). Another notable addition to VisualDX is DermExpert: an add-on feature to VisualDX Complete available for iOS 11 devices. DermExpert uses Apple’s Core ML to analyze skin lesions using the device’s camera. Intended for point-of-care use, the clinician submits a photo and any additional findings, and DermExpert returns images of differential diagnoses with corresponding clinical information. An Android release is forthcoming.
The subscription model has changed slightly since my 2015 review. While there is still a free 30-day trial period, the individual subscription prices have increased. The “Complete” package is now $39.99/month or $399.99/year for an individual subscription. The option to add on DermExpert is $99.99/year, and the Dental/Oral subscription is $14.99/month or $149.99/year. Discounts are still available on individual subscriptions for students, residents, and fellows. The price increases appear consistent with most major resource subscriptions and are fair when taking into account the new features and content. Visual DX typically offers one-year, all-access institutional contracts, and pricing varies by institution type and size.
VisualDX continues to be an important resource that can be used by multiple disciplines and in many different healthcare settings. Usage at UMMC has remained high since licensing the product in 2014. The upgrades add increased value to an already robust product, making it even more useful for busy clinicians, healthcare professionals, and their patients.