Innovative App for Skin Cancer Diagnosis Launched on World Cancer Day 2015

A new, free mobile application that could potentially detect skin cancer, was made available on World Cancer Day, February 4, 2015, for physicians and dermatologists in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

A new, freemobile application that could potentially detect skin cancer, was made available on World Cancer Day, February 4, 2015, for physicians and dermatologists in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Developed by LÅ«bax, the app is the world's first skin identification system that uses top-notch image recognition software. The app is designed to provide a simple, inexpensive software system to support health professionals in the identification of all types of skin lesions.

The initial round of clinical studies conducted in collaboration with Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, and the University of São Paulo demonstrated more than 90% sensitivity and specificity when detecting large melanomas in patients.

Currently available on iPhone, with an iPad version slated for development later this year, theLÅ«bax algorithm works like Google's image search, but specifically designed for skin images. While Google's image search surveys the whole Internet, this app would search a database of over 12,000, carefully curated diagnosed skin-lesion images, showing the user the most similar images and their associated clinical diagnoses.

Exclusive among smartphone applications, the algorithm would use sophisticated content-based image recognition technology to discriminate skin-lesion types.

The app will be provided to healthcare professionals only to limit any potential misdiagnosis. It would strictly be operated by the physician taking a photograph of the skin lesion with their smartphone. With a continuously growing database, over time the app will recognize and differentiate more skin diseases, and the app will be upgraded with the expanding database every six months.The database and algorithm are currently under construction to include basal and squamous cell carcinomas along with amelanotic melanomas.

Fiona Walter, MD, a General Practitioner & Clinician Scientist from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge, said, "The LÅ«bax app could provide a major contribution in improving melanoma detection with its innovative technology. As a primary care researcher I am keen to study its usefulness among generalists in different countries and with different thresholds for referral for specialist care."

"Mobile health apps and the power of the internet have the potential to change the trajectory of premature deaths from cancer worldwide. We encourage all technology entrepreneurs to apply their skills and knowledge to global health issues, including cancer, to help us drive equitable access to information, awareness and early detection," remarked Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).