Smartphone app detects skin cancer

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App for cancer

Mumbai: The app is pretty simple—click a photo of a suspicious mole or lesion with your phone’s camera and run it through an embedded database of the smartphone’s app and within a few seconds, you will be able to find out what the issue is and if it is cancerous.

A University of Houston professor created the app, called DermoScreen, which is now being evaluated for further testing at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

George Zouridakis, professor of engineering technology, has worked on the project since 2005, moving it to an application for a mobile phone after the iPhone became ubiquitous. The goal is to provide quick screening in rural areas or in the developing world, where specialty medical care generally isn’t available, he said.

Early testing found the device to be accurate about 85 percent of the time, Zouridakis said, similar to the accuracy rate for dermatologists and more accurate than primary care physicians. Patients would be referred for follow-up if the lesion were suspected to be cancerous.

In addition to a mobile phone, the technology uses a dermoscope attachment, a special magnifying lens, which costs about $500 and provides special illumination of the area being photographed.

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