GENEVA, Switzerland, February 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
On World Cancer Day 2015, general practitioners, physicians and dermatologists in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia are being asked for their feedback during the advanced trial phase of a new, free app that has the potential to play a vital role in the clinical detection of skin cancer.
Developed by Lūbax, the app is the world's first skin identification system using state-of-the-art image recognition software[i]. 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 first clinical studies of the app carried out in collaboration with Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, and the University of São Paulo show greater than 90% sensitivity and specificity in detecting large melanomas in patients[ii].
"The Lūbax 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," said Dr Fiona Walter, a General Practitioner & Clinician Scientist from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge.
The app will be made available to healthcare professionals only to limit the potential for misuse or misdiagnosis and is operated by the physician taking a photograph of the skin lesion with their smartphone. The app - currently available on iPhone with an iPad version being developed for later this year - searches a database of over 12,000 diagnosed skin-lesion images, and shows the user the most similar images and their associated clinical diagnoses. With a continuously growing database, over time the app will recognise and differentiate more skin diseases.
"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," urges Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). "Together with health experts we can create a pipeline of technology-driven solutions which will help all of us access these key levers to address cancer globally. We will let down future generations if we do not press forward exploring and testing new and exciting technology advances as they emerge."
The app will be available to physicians in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, starting on World Cancer Day, 4th February 2015. Feedback from health professionals can be sent to [email protected] and more information about the app is available at Lubax.com.
The Lūbax app has been developed by a small team of medical and software experts who are committed to using mobile technology to help GPs, clinicians and dermatologists in their delivery of healthcare. The President and CEO of Lūbax, Raymond H. Chen, has 20 years of experience as a surgeon and scientist. More information can be found at http://www.lubax.com
About World Cancer Day and the theme for 2015
World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4 February and is the single initiative under which the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), its members, partners and the entire world can unite together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. Under the tagline 'Not beyond us', World Cancer Day 2015 will take a positive and proactive approach to the fight against cancer, highlighting that solutions do exist across the continuum of cancer, and that they are within our reach.
For more information on how to get involved, please visit: http://www.worldcancerday.org.
About the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
UICC unites the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, to promote greater equity, and to integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda. UICC is the largest cancer-fighting organisation of its kind, with over 800 member organisations across 155 countries representing the world's major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, treatment centres and patient groups.
For more information, please visit: http://www.uicc.org
i. The Lūbax algorithm works like Google's image search, only it's specifically designed for skin images. While Google's image search surveys the whole Internet, the Lūbax algorithm uses carefully curated medical images. The Lūbax algorithm is unique among smartphone applications, using sophisticated content-based image recognition technology to discriminate skin-lesion types. The database and algorithm is being expanded to include basal and squamous cell carcinomas in addition to amelanotic melanomas. As the database grows, Lūbax will recognise more and more skin diseases and the app will be upgraded with the expanding database every six months.
ii. Validation of a skin-lesion image-matching algorithm based on computer vision technology: A new smartphone application (manuscript in review).
Raymond H. Chen, MD, DPhil
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +1-213-533-4100 / +1-626-485-4079