MolecuLight Inc., the leading innovator in point-of-care fluorescence imaging, has just published a groundbreaking study in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities: “Skin Pigmentation Impacts the Clinical Diagnosis of Wound Infection: Imaging of Bacterial Burden to Overcome Diagnostic Limitations.”
This research sheds light on the pressing issue of healthcare inequities and how it affects the diagnosis and treatment of wound infections. By introducing a new imaging technology that locates and detects elevated bacterial loads in and around wounds, MolecuLight is helping to give everyone the same opportunity for accurate diagnosis and treatment, regardless of their skin pigmentation.
Despite the broad range of skin tones within the population, clinical training and educational resources are often lacking when it comes to understanding and properly caring for diverse skin tones.
This lack of knowledge can have serious consequences, limiting the ability of medical professionals to effectively treat and diagnose skin conditions. It is therefore essential to ensure that clinical training and educational resources are available to ensure that all skin tones are properly understood and cared for.
Unconscious racial bias by providers can be a silent but insidious force in our society, one that can lead to serious disparities in care and outcomes. From subtle language choices to more overt forms of discrimination, it’s important to be aware of the potential for unconscious bias and to take steps to address it. By actively addressing unconscious racial bias, we can create a more equitable and inclusive healthcare system for everyone.
For those with darker skin tones, the lack of diagnostic tools and approaches tailored to their unique clinical needs is especially pronounced. This is a significant issue that requires attention and action in order to ensure that all patients receive the best care possible, regardless of their skin tone.
The recent FLAAG trial2, involving post hoc analysis of 350 chronic wounds from 14 prospective sites, sought to understand how skin tone affects the perception of Clinical Signs and Symptoms of Infection (CSS). The study further aimed to explore if using fluorescence imaging (MolecuLight) could offer a more objective diagnosis.
Research has revealed an interesting finding: that certain factors can have a significant impact on the success of a project. The study delved into the interplay between these elements, and the results could help project managers create more successful projects.
Highly pigmented skin can often be overlooked when it comes to diagnosing bacterial-laden wounds, making it clear that objective diagnostic solutions are in dire need. Clinicians have been found to be far less likely to recognize this problem, demonstrating the importance of accurate and reliable diagnostics.
Racialized health inequities in wound care are alarmingly common, with Black long-term care residents being particularly vulnerable. If a pathogenic bacteria or infection is not identified, treatment and intervention can be delayed – risking complications and poorer outcomes.
The literature is clear: Black long-term care residents are far more likely to suffer from complications and die from an infection than their Caucasian counterparts. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that diagnostic limitations are addressed to reduce this risk.
Fluorescence imaging has the power to revolutionize wound care with its ability to provide an impartial and unbiased assessment of wound bacteria regardless of skin tone. This groundbreaking technology has the potential to level the playing field in wound care by providing a more objective and equitable indicator of bacterial presence.
Dr. Alton Johnson, co-author and Assistant Professor of University of Michigan Medical School, is deeply concerned by the shocking disparities in wound care among racial lines in the United States. This issue has been well documented and is truly alarming.
A recent study has uncovered a concerning disparity between care for Black and White nursing home residents—pressure ulcers (or injuries) are more likely to form, more severe, and less likely to heal after 90 days in those at Black facilities.
Thankfully, MolecuLight imaging has been identified as an objective and equitable point-of-care technology that can detect high levels of bacteria on all skin tones and alert practitioners to intervene before infection sets in, improving the chance of healing and avoiding a poor outcome. This is a promising step towards ensuring equitable care for all.
Racial health disparities have long been a systemic problem, and clinical societies, associations, and committees such as the American Association of Wound Care have identified raising awareness and education around this issue as a critical first step in addressing it.
As revealed by a recent study by Dr. Jonathan Johnson and his team at Comprehensive Woundcare Services and Capital Aesthetic + Laser Center in Washington, D.C., these disparities are also manifesting in clinical wound assessment, where patients of color are not receiving the same flagging for early bacterial infection management strategies.
In order to address this root cause, the adoption of equalizing, objective technologies is essential to enact those awareness and education initiatives.
Dr. Charles A. Andersen, co-author and Chief of Vascular/Endovascular Surgery at Madigan Army Medical Center Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, has seen firsthand the diagnostic challenges that arise when treating wounds on patients of color.
He believes MolecuLight technology can address this by objectively detecting high bacterial loads that may otherwise be missed due to less apparent clinical signs, such as erythema, as the intensity of red/cyan fluorescence signals is not impacted by skin tone. With this, healthcare equity for patients of color can be achieved, and their disproportionally high risk of poor wound outcomes and amputation may be reduced.
The MolecuLight i:X and DX are revolutionizing wound care! These innovative imaging devices are the only devices to receive FDA clearance, CE approval, and Health Canada approval for the real-time detection of elevated bacterial burden in wounds.
Clinical evidence for the devices has been demonstrated in over 75 peer-reviewed publications involving 1,500 patients, and they are now being used by leading wound care facilities worldwide.