WORLD Cancer Day 2015 saw the launch of a new free app for healthcare professionals, which has the potential to play a vital role in the clinical detection of skin cancer.
The app, developed by Lūbax, is the world’s first skin identification system using state-of-the-art image recognition software. It is designed to provide a simple, inexpensive software platform to support health professionals in the identification of all types of skin lesions. If initial clinical trials are any indication, it works exceedingly well, boasting greater than 90% sensitivity and specificity in detecting large melanomas.
Physicians photograph a skin lesion using a smartphone and the app cross-references the image with a database of over 12,000 images of diagnosed skin lesions, providing matches and their associated clinical diagnoses. It is hoped that as this database grows the app will be able to recognise and differentiate more skin diseases. Quite sensibly, it is available only to healthcare professionals so as to limit the potential for misuse and misdiagnosis.
“Mobile health apps and the power of the internet have the potential to change the trajectory of premature deaths from cancer worldwide. We encourage all technology entrepreneurs to apply their skills and knowledge to global health issues, including cancer, to help us drive equitable access to information, awareness, and early detection,” urged Mr Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Geneva, Switzerland. “Together with health experts we can create a pipeline of technology-driven solutions which will help all of us access these key levers to address cancer globally. We will let down future generations if we do not press forward exploring and testing new and exciting technology advances as they emerge.”
The app was launched on 4th February 2015 and is available to physicians in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Lūbax is using the feedback of healthcare professionals to improve its services and potentially develop what could prove to be an invaluable tool in the fight against skin cancer.