Diagnosing skin cancer: Software as good as doctors, says study

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.

source: AFP