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Cognitive computing could improve accuracy of skin-cancer diagnostics


Technology may enhance ability to ID cancerous disease states

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York is collaborating with IBM on a research project that uses cognitive computing to analyze dermatological images of skin lesions to help identify various cancerous disease states.

RELATED: Technology predicts which melanoma patients will respond to pembrolizumab

The Healthcare Innovations website reports that the technology has the potential to increase the number of cases detected and help clinicians make earlier diagnoses. Best-case diagnostic accuracy is estimated at 75% to 84% with current technology.

Preliminary experiments have used a controlled research dataset of dermoscopy images containing more than 3,000 cases of melanoma, atypical lesions and benign lesions. In this dataset, the IBM technology recognized diseased states with 97% sensitivity and 95% specificity.

NEXT: Technology in dermatology


More on technology and skin research:

Wearable technology meets dermatology

Stem cells, lasers poised to join wound care armementarium

Hot research focus: Drug delivery options

Nanotechnology accelerates wound healing


Technology in dermatology

Studies are well underway to integrate devices with the skin. The goal of wearable technology in dermatology is twofold: develop a continuous monitoring system, which uses the skin as a window for measuring physiological status and health, as well as a diagnostic tool with utility in a clinical or hospital environment. 

Other studies are looking advancing woundcare and wound healing through a better understanding of nanomaterials and growth factors to accelerate wound closure.  

New therapies such as stem cells, lasers, and light-activated tissue repair and lasers are also making inroads in woundcare.

And, therapeutic delivery remains an important focus in dermatology research, one expert says. New drug delivery technologies have the potential to enhance skin penetration and make drugs more tolerable; and therefore, increase compliance.

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