The FDA has given its approval for DermaSensor’s AI-powered handheld skin cancer detector to be sold within the US.

Skin cancer is essentially the most common cancer on the earth with around one in five Americans developing skin cancer of their lifetime. The most serious type of skin cancer, melanoma, kills about 9,000 Americans every year.

About 99% of skin cancers are curable, but they often go undetected until it’s too late. Dermatologists are briefly supply and it could possibly be difficult for a primary care physician (PCP) to inform the difference between a benign mole and skin cancer.

DermaSensor designed a non-invasive handheld device that may detect the three commonest types of skin cancer, melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

The device uses elastic-scattering spectroscopy (ESS), a noninvasive optical biopsy technique. When the tip of the device is held against the suspect skin lesion, it pulses multiple wavelengths of sunshine through it and captures the resulting spectra.

It then uses an algorithm to investigate the spectra to find out if the lesion is malignant or benign.

The algorithm was trained with over 20,000 spectral scans from greater than 4,500 skin lesions using one feedforward and two deep neural networks. Once trained on the labeled spectral scans, the device learned to inform if a brand new spectral scan was cancerous and what sort of skin cancer it was.

The device positively identifies skin cancer with a 96% accuracy, while it accurately identifies benign lesions 97% of the time. These figures are significantly higher than those achieved by the PCPs of their trials.

DermaSensor’s accuracy in detecting melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer vs human primary care physicians. Source: DermaSensor

The device will probably be made available through a subscription model at $199 a month for five patients or $399 a month for unlimited use.

DermaSensor will enable PCPs to quickly determine whether their patient ought to be referred to a dermatologist. It will even reduce unnecessary referrals of patients to specialists only to seek out that the overcautious PCP misidentified a benign lesion.

This is one in every of several cancer detection and treatment solutions that AI has made possible.

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