Posted on July 25, 2016 by staff

Smartphone tool Skin Analytics identifies cancer moles


BusinessCloud is counting down the technology which could save your life, beginning with Skin Analytics – a smartphone tool which could identify cancerous moles.

Could your smartphone help you fight cancer?

It might sound far-fetched, but Skin Analytics is a tool which aims to improve the survival rate for melanoma skin cancer by providing users with a low-cost way to identify moles which could be cancerous.

Founder Neil Daly, who previously worked in digital health with blue chip companies, established Skin Analytics in 2012 when he took an interest in the role emerging technologies could play in supporting healthcare.

“Being originally from Australia, I had grown up with strong and clear skin cancer educational messages and I realised there was huge potential to help improve the identification of melanoma by leveraging artificial intelligence and smartphones,” he explains.

“I spoke to anyone who would listen, from AI professors to early cancer diagnosis researchers, and eventually figured out how using technology we could make the cost of screening low enough to solve two problems we have.

“Firstly, that people delay seeking medical help for suspect lesions and this delay results in poorer survival rates than are possible.

“And secondly, we spend a lot on secondary care and biopsies that could be reduced if we were able to be more specific about the people that needed that investigation.”

A special lens, a dermoscope, is attached to a smartphone to capture a high-quality image of the lesion which is then analysed by AI to determine whether the person needs to see a dermatologist.

A monitoring service is also available to track changes over time.

Skin Analytics has spent four years building the technology and recently launched a version of its tool with Vitality Health, using specialists to review the cases while the business builds the clinical evidence for the AI.

Daly estimates that nine cases of melanoma have so far been identified.

A clinical study will be starting in the coming weeks with the Royal Free Hospital in London to further refine the AI, and they are also expanding their partnerships.

Dr Jack Kreindler is leading the way in fighting cancer with technology, using AI imaging, while Pankaj Chandak last year became the first person in the world to use 3D printing to plan for a paediatric kidney transplant.