Africa Health: New mobile app to detect skin cancer

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The mobile application, which will be launched in the market after regulatory approvals, can help physicians speed up diagnosis and handle more patients within a shorter time. “Being a portable and affordable solution, it can be used by trained health care workers to reach out to elderly and patients in mobility restricted areas for health care delivery,” Sheet told PTI. The innovation, which recently won the ‘GE Edison Challenge 2013’ in Bangalore, has been awarded an incubation prize of Rs. 10 lakhs.

How it works
Along with the mobile app, a clip-on device is attached to the handset, which illuminates the patient’s skin using a colourful flash while the phone camera takes a sequence of images. The images are then uploaded from the phone to the ‘DRICTION’ computational imaging service on the cloud.
They are then processed to provide consolidated diagnostic information to skilled paramedics, assisting them with assessing potential nature and risk of lesions, and suggesting an expert physician’s intervention in critical cases. The researchers say semi-skilled paramedics working in rural and primary healthcare centres can use the app.
It will assist in fast and high-precision screening of skin lesions and abnormalities like cancers, psoriasis, scaling, keratinisation, melanoma, inflammation, ulcers, lipoma, healing and non-healing wounds, and heavy-metal induced dysplasia, all of which may or may not be evidently visible on the surface. “This in effect will facilitate high-throughput screening of patients at resource constrained or remotely located healthcare centres lacking even minimal access to expert physicians, but witnessing an exponential rise in deaths related to complex skin abnormalities,” Sheet said.

On the accuracy of the product, the researcher said tests have found it to be 99 per cent accurate

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