Computer Software Able to Detect Skin Cancer

From the WebMD Archives

Jan. 26, 2017 -- Computer software that can detect skin cancer has been developed by scientists.

The research could lead to a day when a simple cell phone app helps patients self-diagnosis skin cancer, according to CNN.

The Stanford University team designed the computer to identify images of cancerous moles and lesions as accurately as a dermatologist. Their research appears in the journal Nature.

"Our objective is to bring the expertise of top-level dermatologists to places where the dermatologist is not available," said study senior author Sebastian Thrun, CNN reported.

Dermatologists typically identify possible skin cancer by appearance, and diagnosis is made through follow-up biopsies and tests. This computer system is able to accomplish the first part -- detecting skin cancer at a glance.

While the study is "encouraging," much more research is needed before a device that would enable people to self-diagnose skin cancer might become available, Thrun told CNN.