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Cancer Screening- There’s an App for That.

An application called DermoScreen is being used to scan for unusual molecells which doctors may be missing, which will alert individuals to see a dermatologist because the program suspects they may have skin cancer. Suspicious moles are indicators of skin cancer- a concern that receives bolsters of attention each summer as people are reminded to use sunscreen. But few people take seriously enough to undergo routine skin checks.

The app requires a smart phone and a high-quality dermoscope which is a high resolution lens but has an 85% accuracy rating, which sounds terrible until you compare it to the accuracy of family doctors- 50%-70% and 90% accuracy rate of dermatologists.The app was created by Houston professor, George Zouridakis, who believes it will cut the time of diagnosis down, increase the likelihood of individuals checking for skin cancer and result in earlier treatment.

The application is still undergoing testing at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center but is expected to be released once it meets the University’s standards and Zouridakis’ requirement that it be as accurate as possible. His dream is to use the dermoscope attachment to diagnose patients in Africa, where specialists are limited- his next goal is to use the technology to create an app to screen Buruli ulcer- a flesh-eating bacterial disease that plagues African nations.

Source: Cancer

The DermoScreen app works with a dermoscope attachment, pictured. The lens scans unusual looking lesions before highlighting potentially cancerous cells. During tests, the app was accurate in 85% of cases based on visual characteristics - higher than the 50% to 70% average accuracy rate of family doctors

The app is now being evaluated for further testing at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre. If successful, it could make quick and inexpensive screening a reality for millions of people who lack access to medical specialists, claimed the researchers. Stock image of melanoma is pictured

 

 

A separate app called Doctor Mole, pictured, uses augmented reality to check moles for irregularities in size, shape, colour and border

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