New AI-based app can check for skin cancer within minutes

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Posted on: June 26, 2020 6:48 pm EDT

An app being launched out of Australia uses AI and a smartphone to identify cancerous growths

A new app allows users to check for skin cancer without the need to go to the doctor. Skin cancer is a common condition, and suspicious skin spots need to be checked as soon as possible, which is what the app is doing. Developed by Nick Chang and Matthew Jones from Melbourne, Australia, this app enables users to take a photo of a mole or any skin spot with their smartphones and the artificial intelligence (AI)-powered app will do the rest.

The built-in AI in the app analyzes the image and detects any abnormalities – even the smallest ones – that might lead to a problem or point to a current one, such as melanoma in an early stage. “We can help you assess the risk level on a high, medium, or low basis and give you an indication of how immediate that skin lesion problem could be,” said Chang. Also, the results, along with the skin risk analysis done by the app, are forwarded to a doctor who will give the final diagnosis. “If the doctor needs more information, they can actually chat with you on the app and ask more follow-up questions, too,” Jones told a local news site.

The cost of using the app to review one skin image and give a diagnosis is just $2.06 (AU$3). “That’s cheaper than a cup of coffee,” Jones said. “The app is not designed to replace skin human examinations but may help detect skin cancer early – and in turn accelerate treatment,” added the co-founder. “We believe artificial intelligence can help make healthcare hyper-convenient.” The specificity of this app is just one more example of the potential use and application AI can have in every area of human life.