• AI Project to help Diagnose Skin Cancers

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AI Project to help Diagnose Skin Cancers

Oct 11 2020

A team of researchers and clinicians at the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside has received £150,000  in support of its ‘Deep learning for effective triaging of skin disease in the NHS’ project  aiming to develop an AI system that can accurately distinguish between benign lesions and cancers. The funding was allocated under the £50 million Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Awards announced by former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock in September 2020

In a pilot project, funded by Detect Cancer Early, the Dundee team developed a deep learning system able to detect common skin cancers with state-of-the-art accuracy. This preliminary work has used selected and pre-processed image datasets that are not representative of routine NHS data and the researchers will now develop their technology to achieve diagnostic accuracy with image data from NHS clinics.

This next phase will start the integration of a learning AI system into everyday clinical care within NHS Tayside to refine clinical capability in a real-world setting.

“Our interdisciplinary group is uniquely positioned to exploit and develop this technology for NHS benefit,” said project leader Professor Stephen McKenna, of the University’s Computing department.

“Success in this area will be gradual, starting with goals such as clinical decision support for the most common benign lesions. Skin disease naturally lends itself to automated image analysis. Lesions can be photographed easily and then analysed with the help of deep learning technology.”

The team also consists of the University’s Professor Emanuele Trucco, a renowned expert in Computer Vision & Image Processing, Charlotte Proby, Professor of Dermatology at the School of Medicine, and Professor Colin Fleming, Consultant Dermatologist at Ninewells Hospital and Director of the Discovery Institute of Dermatology.

This project was one of 42 awards selected from over 530 applicants for this first open competition round. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Award is run by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

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