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Mobile apps to detect skin cancer are not always accurate


Key points from article :

Smartphone apps to detect the risk of skin cancer are poorly regulated and cannot be relied upon to produce accurate results.

The study looked at nine different applications and found evidence for accuracy was lacking.

Two of those apps are currently available in the UK: SkinScan and SkinVision.

Both are approved and regulated as Class 1 medical devices and have CE marks.

SkinScan in a study of 15 images with five melanomas did not identify any of the melanomas.

SkinVision achieved a sensitivity of 88% and a specificity of 79%.

Other studies have previously found SkinVision performs well above a GP in detecting skin cancer.

“’s really important that they are properly evaluated and regulated.” - Jac Dinnes, lead researcher.

Regulators will require new skills to evaluate digital technologies and should clearly be flagged to patients and policy makers.

Study by University of Birmingham and University of Nottingham published in BMJ.

AI apps can be inefficient in skin cancer diagnosis, if not properly regulated and certified

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Senior Researcher at Test Evaluation Research Group, University of Birmingham.


Mobile app to track and analyze skin conditions


Skin cancer melanoma detection app


Publisher of more than 70 medical and allied science journals


Public research university.