January 26, 2017 - 3:10pm
Image-scanning software developed at Stanford University can distinguish deadly skin cancers from benign ones as accurately as top dermatologists, according to a study published Wednesday.
The potentially life-saving technology could soon be incorporated in a smart phone, the researchers said, an advance reminiscent of the diagnostic device wielded by Dr McCoy in the 1960s Star Trek sci-fi series.
Adapting a Google algorithm designed to distinguish between categories of objects based on images -- telling a cat from a dog, for example -- the Stanford team compiled a database of nearly 130,000 photos of skin disease.
To be effective, the software would need to tell a benign lesion from a malignant carcinoma.