DermoScan, created by an engineering faculty at the University of Houston, can help screen for melanoma. It has already been used to diagnose a dermal bacterial disease in Africa, in a NIH-sponsored study.
The idea sounds simple: Take a photo of a suspicious mole or lesion with your phone, run it through an embedded software program and find out within a few seconds if it is likely to be cancerous.
But it could make quick and inexpensive screening a reality for millions of people who lack access to medical specialists. A University of Houston professor created the
, called DermoScan, which is now being evaluated for further testing at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. George Zouridakis, professor of
, has worked on the project since 2005, moving it to an application for a
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.
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