Can Cognitive Computing Help Identify Skin Cancer?

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16042594325_c94bf274c6_oby Angela Guess

Fiona Doherty of Medical Xpress reports, “IBM announced today a collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering to research the application of cognitive computing to analyze dermatological images of skin lesions with the goal of assisting clinicians in the identification of various cancerous disease states. The technology, which learns by identifying specific patterns in medical images, has the potential to increase the number of cases detected and help clinicians make earlier diagnoses.Despite efforts to address risk factors, skin cancer is still the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States with nearly 5 million people treated for the disease every year, at an estimated cost of $8.1 billion. Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, causes nearly 9,000 deaths each year.”

Doherty continues, “The automated analysis of skin imaging is one area of research that is currently being investigated by IBM Research, in conjunction with a larger international effort being led by Memorial Sloan Kettering. Dr. Allan Halpern, Chief of Dermatology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering, said ‘Skin cancer is a major public health problem. Treatment options exist, with the best outcomes attained through early detection. However, accurately distinguishing the earliest cancers from concerning benign lesions can be very challenging even for dermatologists, so having the aid of analytics that can recognize medical images and detect small variations over time could vastly improve patient prognoses’.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy IBM

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