Smartphones and AI to speed up skin cancer diagnosis | Technical News

Last year, 56,000 patients were treated for skin cancer

Last year, 56,000 patients were treated for skin cancer (Image: Getty/Science Photo Libra)

Tens of thousands of skin cancer patients could be diagnosed faster thanks to the new smartphone camera lens capable of capturing detailed images of birthmarks or skin lesions.

The camera lens is the size of a 50p piece and can be attached to a smartphone to capture high-resolution images of suspected birthmarks, spots or other skin problems.

NHS officials said the new “teledermatology” service is due to be rolled out across England by July.

There is hope that this move will allow specialized skin doctors – dermatologists – to double the number of patients they can examine in one day.

The technology is currently used by around 15% of NHS trusts in England. It is also used in community NHS diagnostic centers and some GP surgeries.

According to NHS England, the use of the technology could allow GPs in rural areas to have their patients screened more quickly – potentially without having to travel for a specialist appointment.

Last year around 600,000 people were referred for skin exams – 9% more than the previous year. 56,000 skin cancer patients were treated last year.

The health service is also testing artificial intelligence (AI) tools to assess the presence of skin cancer.

It is currently being used in conjunction with assessment by physicians to assess whether the technology called Deep Ensemble for the Recognition of Malignancy (Derm) is coming to the same conclusions.

Derm uses AI algorithms to analyze magnified special images of skin lesions to determine if the patient has cancer.

In the future, this should enable faster diagnosis for skin cancer patients.

Sunscreen is essential for preventing skin cancer

Sunscreen is important to prevent skin cancer (Picture: Getty)

During an earlier phase of testing, the device was shown to have helped avoid around 10,000 unnecessary in-person appointments, NHS officials said.

“There is no denying that increased demand has put enormous pressure on services,” said NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard. “But encouraging the use of digital technology and new ways of working is key to reducing wait times and that is exactly why we are accelerating the use of teledermatology – it’s a small device that has the potential to transform diagnosis and treatment.” to speed up dozens of patients.” Thousands will develop skin cancer.

“We are going even one step further and expanding the use of artificial intelligence lenses in teledermatology to diagnose skin cancer. This is proving extremely effective in areas where the technology has been tested to date.”

“This is just one example of innovations the NHS has introduced to ensure people get cancer diagnosis and treatment as early as possible. We’re also investing millions to increase diagnostic and treatment capacity and advance early diagnosis initiatives like our community lung carts. And we will not end here with our efforts to detect cancer earlier and save more lives.”

dr Tom While, a Somerset GP, said: “The ability to quickly obtain an expert opinion on a skin lesion or rash and receive advice on treatment or local surgical options often eliminates the need to refer the patient to another hospital.” Visit the specialist in person.

“Not only does this reduce waiting lists, but it also greatly benefits my patients who live in rural areas, as they avoid long, unnecessary trips.”

“When a patient does need to be referred to a specialist, the teledermatology service helps streamline that process and ensures the patient is treated in the right clinic at the right time – this is a fantastic service and an asset to rural general medicine. ‘ and it’s hard to imagine working without her.’

Health Secretary Helen Whately said: “We want to make sure people’s birthmarks, spots or lesions can be examined as soon as possible so that cancerous conditions can be treated quickly.”

“This technology allows dermatologists to treat twice the number of patients per day and by rollout to community diagnostic centers this will save lives.”

A new survey conducted by Censuswide on behalf of King Edward VII’s Hospital of 2,000 UK adults found 22% don’t wear sunscreen.

MORE: ‘A bruise on my nail turned out to be skin cancer’

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Justin Scaccy

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