AI is as effective in diagnosing skin cancer, like a real dermatologist

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2017-01-31 12:00:07

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AI is as effective in diagnosing skin cancer, like a real dermatologist

New artificial intelligence system is able to determine the visible signs of skin cancer with the same accuracy with which it is done by real doctors. The next step, according to experts, who developed this system, is its integration into mobile devices so that every person had the opportunity to conduct self-diagnosis if any suspicion.

As soon As the system becomes portable, it will allow many people with minimal cost and without the need for additional time to visit the doctor to confirm the symptoms establish disease and much faster to take the appropriate action. Researchers from Stanford University, behind this system, deep learning, said that the key to success was a computer algorithm, allowing to effectively and quickly analyze and compare information about skin cancer from specialized databases.

"We have created a very powerful machine learning algorithm that collects useful information. Instead make yourself in code information about what to look for, we lay this responsibility on the algorithm" — comments on the operation of the system by one of its creators, Andre Esteve.

In order to make the system "intelligent", researchers have "trained" her using the database of the 129 450 close-up images of skin lesions characteristic of more than 2000 different skin diseases. The team then borrowed the algorithm, developed by Google, used to identify differences in images of cats and dogs. The algorithm is seriously modified and adapted for determining the difference between skin features and afflicted areas.

To check the system provided more than 20 highly qualified dermatologists. To compare the effectiveness of professionals and the system has been shown 376 images of the skin. Doctors and car required to bring the verdict: either the patient needs further and deeper analysis, and treatment or no signs of the disease are not marked. The test results showed that the AI is able to cope with the task on the same level of effectiveness with real professionals.

Technology, however, are not intended to replace doctors. The developers insist that it is only able to help people faster to conduct a preliminary diagnosis and to promptly contact professionals need. The ability to distinguish between truly dangerous markings on the skin and benign – not an easy task. Therefore, the ability of this AI system makes it even more impressive.

However, before to release this system to public access, its developers want to make sure that it will not make false conclusions. Therefore, to improve the efficiency is the best clinical trials. After that it is planned to be released in app form for mobile devices. So anyone can use the system when necessary.

"For me, the moment of Epiphany came when I realized how much mass will be smartphones," — says Esteve.

"Almost every person will have in his pocket a small supercomputer, equipped with a set of different sensors, sensors and cameras. Then I thought: what if we use these opportunities to provide a visual indication of skin cancer or other skin diseases?".

As with many other skin diseases, early diagnosis of skin cancer is critical in treatment efficiency. Statistics show that with early detection of signs of survival rate in the next 10 years or more is 95 percent. Upon detection of the disease at later stages and prior to the adoption of appropriate methods of treatment, this percentage drops to 10-15.

Dermatologists very positively welcome new technology of early diagnostics, especially against the background of declining interest in the profession at the General national level:

"This amazing new technology has the potential of providing quality, efficient and timely access to dermatological services. This is very positive news, especially on the background of a General decrease in the percentage of quality professionals in this field and a simultaneous increase in cases of lesion of skin cancer", — said anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist and a representative of the health organization of the British Skin Foundation.

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