“Do It Yourself” Dermatopathology Will Use Consumer’s Cell Phone Images

Company intends to use pattern recognition software to evaluate risk of skin cancer

A “do it yourself” dermatopathology service for consumers is coming soon, according to Health Discovery Corporation (HDC) of Savannah, Georgia. The company is preparing to introduce a cell phone-based tool to help consumers recognize whether a mole or other skin lesion needs examination by a dermatologist.

Using their cell phone cameras, consumers would click a photo of the skin lesion, then forward that image to a computer at HDC. Using pattern recognition algorithms developed by the company, called Support Vector Machines, the computer would analyze the image. A report telling the consumer whether the lesion was low, medium or high risk for skin cancer would be sent as a text message. This text message would include a list of dermatologists located near the consumer. The list of dermatologist referrals would be targeted to the user’s geographic area. HPC would compile this list, based on GPS data collected from the cell phone transmission.