AI supersedes dermatologists' abilities to diagnose melanoma

A study conducted by an worldwide team of researchers pitted experienced dermatologists against a machine learning system, known as a deep learning convolutional neural network, or CNN, to see which was more effective at detecting malignant melanomas.

'These findings show that deep learning convolutional neural networks are capable of outperforming dermatologists, including extensively trained experts, in the task of detecting melanomas'.

"The CNN missed fewer melanomas, meaning it had a higher sensitivity than the dermatologists", the study's first author Holger Haenssle of the University of Heidelberg said in a statement.

It works by learning from images that it "sees" and continues to teach itself with each case to improve its performance.

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To be fair, the performance of the human dermatologists improved when they were provided more information about the patients - including age, gender, and position of the lesion - plus close-up images of skin lesions of the cases. They also believe there are 232,000 new cases of skin cancer and 55,500 deaths are reported each year.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) keeps making humans look like fools, this time beating dermatologists at identifying skin cancer.

The researchers said AI technology is a useful and easy way to detect skin Melanomas (cancer cells) from normal cells.

Researchers were able to recruit 58 doctors from 17 countries.

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Malignant melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer. In a recently published paper, University of Heidelberg scientists revealed that deep-learning AI could predict melanomas, nevi, and benign moles with far better accuracy compared to their human peers.

"Only dermoscopic images were used, that is lesions that were imaged at a 10-fold magnification". More than 100,000 images were shown to AI system. They argue that system's like the new dermatology CNN can serve as a decision support tool (emphasis on "support") that can provide a second opinion to a trained physician. However, the CNN outperformed the dermatologists by detecting 95 percent of melanomas. It will allow doctors to surgically remove them before it starts spreading. However, before such an artificial intelligence system finds broad clinical application, some technical problems, such as the difficulty of correctly depicting certain melanomas in areas such as the fingers and toes or the skull, system to "read" the images.

"Currently, there is no substitute for a thorough clinical examination".

[4] "Artificial intelligence for melanoma diagnosis: How can we deliver on the promise?" by V. J. Mar and H. P. Soyer.

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