Fri, Jun 28, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Hospital unveils skin diagnostic app

Staff writer, with CNA

National Taiwan University Hospital on Wednesday unveiled a skin disease diagnostic support system to help identify skin diseases using artificial intelligence and smartphone apps, which doctors said increase the precision of clinical diagnosis and reduce intrusive medical checks.

The technology can help dermatologists identify five skin conditions that were previously difficult to diagnose: basal cell carcinoma — the most common form of skin cancer; melanoma; nevus; squamous cell carcinoma — also known as epidermoid carcinoma; and seborrheic keratoses — lesions that become more common with age.

Chan Chih-chieh (詹智傑), an attending physician in the dermatology department, said that visual inspections are poor for tracking changes to moles and lesions.

Dermatologists conduct biopsies, a minimally invasive procedure, which nonetheless bring potential risks, Chan said.

The procedure can be avoided if the precision of clinical diagnosis were improved, he said.

An information technology firm collaborated with the hospital to develop the clinical decision support system — an app that analyzes data to help healthcare providers make decisions and improve patient care, he said.

The system is easy to use and the data are available seconds after a photograph of a lesion is uploaded, he said.

The dermatology department has already implemented a trial of the system, Chan said.

In the first phase, thousands of biopsies were uploaded and the app’s diagnoses were 90 percent accurate, he added.

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