A Cognitive Training Tool to Aid Focal Skin Lesion Diagnosis
Dermofit is a digital tool built to train medical professionals to accurately identify malignant and benign skin lesions and skin growths at an earlier stage.
The Dermofit app works using an algorithm which automatically groups library photos of skin lesions based on their colour and texture properties. The four modules within the app allow users to explore and understand the differences between skin lesion classes and begin to more accurately identify specific lesions.
The app is the result of four years development by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, which involved sourcing the extensive image library and associated diagnoses (the app currently boasts over 1,300 images), developing the algorithms to automatically group the photos based on their colour and texture properties, and testing the product with real-life practitioners. Research for the project was funded by the Welcome Foundation.
The Dermofit concept was devised by Professor Jonathan Rees, Grant Chair of Dermatology at the University of Edinburgh, who came up with the idea in 2005 to develop a digital tool to help medical professionals accurately identifying malignant and benign skin lesion and skin growths at an early stage.
Professor Rees: “Thirty per cent of doctors will automatically send a patient to a hospital if they have signs of a skin growth. But the evidence is that the vast majority of people who are seen and referred do not have skin cancer or anything serious at all.”
Bob Fisher, who specialises in computer vision and helped design the computer algorithms for the app, adds; "Dermofit contains a photo library of skin lesions to help inform practitioners to diagnosis more effectively. Practitioners can click on the image of a lesion of interest which then leads to further similar lesions.
As lesions are selected, further sets of similar lesions are displayed. This gives familiarity with the different skin lesion types and allows users to differentiate between lesions that look similar, but that are from different skin lesion classes.”
The Dermofit project has been converted for market by digital healthcare specialist Simedics Ltd (www.simedics.org).
Dermofit is a digital tool designed to train medical professionals to accurately identify malignant and benign skin lesion and skin growths at an earlier stage. It is for educational use only and should not be used as a diagnostic tool.