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An Algorithm That Can Detect Skin Cancer

In a fast-changing world, machines can now make decisions traditionally reserved for humans. While this might seem frightening, but the truth is that technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to improve our lives significantly. AI has already made an impact on multiple industries, including medicine. Compared to $2.16 billion in 2017, it’s estimated that the global value of AI in healthcare will reach $22.79 billion by 2023.

Early detection and prevention of deadly diseases is one of AI’s biggest potential benefits. Researchers at Stanford University are trying to accomplish an app that can tell you when something’s wrong with your body, even before your patients visit a doctor or feel unwell, and they’ve already made a huge breakthrough. A group of scientists announced the development of an AI algorithm that detects skin cancer in early 2017. Based on the large data-set created consisting of 130,000 images of skin abnormalities and diseases, they trained an algorithm to diagnose skin cancer. The results were then compared to diagnoses made by board-certified dermatologists, showing that the algorithm was 91 percent accurate and laying a solid basis for further developments in the field. As per the researchers, their breakthrough could be used to develop an app that would be able to detect skin cancer based on a photo taken via smartphone. Since every year, around 5.4 million people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer, imagine how many lives it could save. If caught early enough, the 10-year survival rate for skin cancer is 95 percent. However, not all patients are lucky enough to get an early diagnosis. Anyone who notices suspicious changes on their skin could use the app and get diagnosed instantly, owing to Stanford’s innovation.

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