27.4.2018

Last week, the team behind SkinLesionsRS participated in the wrap-up of the 1st & 2nd editions of the RESOLVE - Health Innovation Accelerator Program and presented its final report detailing the outcome and results of the project. The SkinLesionsRS project was developed by FhP-AICOS (Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS) and supported by RESOLVE, an initiative that promotes projects in the health sector, boosting the translation of innovative ideas into business ventures and value creation.

 

Using SkinLesionRS, general practitioners from Local Health Centres are able to acquire highly relevant dermatological information through the usage of a smartphone, an adaptable dermoscope and a mobile application. This solution aims to improve the referral process for skin lesions between Local Health Centres and Hospital Dermatology Departments, and optimize the triage process for patients examined in Local Health Centres.

The solution is based in a simple and intuitive workflow that uses real time image processing algorithms to improve image acquisition, simultaneously allowing to easily attach the acquired data in the referral form of “Consulta a Tempo e Horas”. Throughout the acceleration programme, through contact with stakeholders, FhP-AICOS' team was able to validate the technology’s alignment with the users’ needs, its application in a real-life context, and further maturing the technology. Overall, stakeholders strongly supported the potential of the technology to improve efficiency in the dermatology referral process.

The team also enlisted additional partners to further annotate the database of dermatological images, allowing the use of those results to further improve the risk analysis algorithm, a machine learning module based on image processing, to assist specialists in the triage process.

According to Liga Portuguesa Contra o Cancro, skin cancer annually corresponds to about one-third of all cancers detected in Portugal, affecting one in seven people throughout their lifetime. Although malignant melanomas account for only a small percentage of skin cancer, it's responsible for most skin cancer related deaths. It's why early diagnosis of malignant melanomas is extremely important, especially when one considers the high success rates of recovery detected during the early stages of its development.

Technology has proven to be a valuable tool in aiding diagnosis. In fact, there has been a growing interest on Telemedicine and other ICT solutions not only as a diagnosis tool, but also for their ability to improve efficiency and ease the burden on health services. Smartphones, in particular, are well suited to maximize the accessibility of solutions to early detection of pathologies due to their ubiquity, relatively low cost and growing technological capabilities like capture of high quality images.

FhP-AICOS has been performing research in the field of Mobile Dermatology since 2011, having developed extensive knowledge and know-how in the field of ICT solutions applied to healthcare.