Dermatologists understand the immense value of those routine skin cancer exams, even if patients are still catching on. The more consumers have learned that early detection is the X-Factor in the successful treatment of various health conditions, the more scientists have begun researching ways to help doctors and patients attain that goal.
Skin cancer is an interesting condition in that, although it is the most common form of cancer, and although awareness in prevention has increased, there is still a vast valley that needs to be bridged. Patients are not getting the screenings that could save them from unnecessary and extensive treatments. The fear of hearing that they have skin cancer is standing in the way of the early diagnosis and treatment that could save their life. The times, they are changing, though. Now, it seems there is new technology on the horizon that could be a real game-changer for skin cancer detection.
Recent research out of Stanford University is showing just how advanced science has become. Computer scientists, not health providers, have made significant steps forward in the development of a high-tech, albeit convenient, method of assessing suspicious growths. Ultimately, this new research in algorithms related to skin cancer could come down to a simple smartphone app.
The study, which can be read in a January 2017 issue of Nature, suggests that the artificial intelligence developed by Stanford scientists is as accurate as the current methodology of assessing abnormal cells using a dermatoscope. It is as if the visual processing of this artificial intelligence essentially puts another set of eyes onto the issue of skin cancer; a set of “eyes” that consumers may reach for before calling their dermatologist.
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