Advancing health equity with Illustrate Change
Deloitte Digital is proud to announce the launch of Illustrate Change, a project in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson that seeks to build momentum around representation in medical illustration.
In 2022, Nigerian medical illustrator and medical student Chidiebere Ibe’s illustration of a Black fetus-in-womb went viral, sparking a global conversation about representation in medical images. With its launch, Illustrate Change will immediately make available 25 diverse medical illustrations that showcase the work and unique vision of Ibe.
Currently, less than 5% of medical images show dark skin. Only 8% of medical illustrators identify as people of color. The Illustrate Change digital library, made possible by a grant from the Johnson & Johnson "Our Race to Health Equity" commitment, will house a collection of diverse medical illustrations across a range of health conditions.
The library will continue to grow and evolve, reflecting a more representative patient population. The initial 25 images will represent 23 conditions across dermatology, maternal health, eye disease, oncology, general health, orthopedics, and hematology.
"Illustrations are an important visual tool used in both medical and patient education,” continued Ibe. “I’m proud my illustrations will play a vital role in continuing to raise awareness of medical images. Closing these gaps helps avoid implicit bias within healthcare settings and increases awareness of how conditions present on different skin tones, which could have very critical implications for health outcomes. I hope these images inspire future generations of medical illustrators.”
The Deloitte Health Equity Institute, in collaboration with Deloitte Digital, played a crucial role in helping to bring Illustrate Change to life. Inspired by the power of illustrations such as Ibe’s, the Deloitte Digital team saw the need for a digital library that would increase diversity in the world of medical illustrations.
Driven by the movement, the team connected the Deloitte Health Equity Institute and Johnson & Johnson with the proposal and led the development of the digital library. Healthcare leaders within the Deloitte Health Equity Institute shaped the strategic direction of the program, led cross-sector collaboration, and facilitated the medical review process alongside Johnson & Johnson.
"Deloitte is proud to be part of this much-needed movement and to contribute our unique expertise across creativity, healthcare, and digital innovation," continued Bhatt.
To further support the mission of Illustrate Change, Johnson & Johnson has engaged the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) to offer the AMI Diversity Fellowship. This fellowship program will nurture the training and education of 10 medical artists, encouraging them to create 100 new medical illustrations featuring patients of color over the next year.
"The lack of representation in medical imagery is an issue that directly impacts communities of color and their relationship with the healthcare system. This can lead to feelings of not being seen, and continue potential mistrust among communities of color," said Vanessa Broadhurst, executive vice president of Global Corporate Affairs for Johnson & Johnson. "The AMI Diversity Fellowship is a unique component of Johnson & Johnson's commitment to addressing racial biases in medicine, increasing representation in healthcare, and promoting health equity so that all communities can thrive."
Deloitte Digital also designed a full-page print advertisement published in the Wall Street Journal to raise awareness of Illustrate Change with the publication’s readership.
Want to learn more about this initiative and check out the illustrations?
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