The European Union has chosen, within the framework of its Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, to finance a project led by the University of Girona (UdG), in Catalonia (northeast), to create a tool for the early detection of skin cancer .
According to the university itself, it is about developing a body scanner that performs a comprehensive evaluation of patients and melanoma in an anticipated and personalized way.
The project, called iToBoS, will devise an artificial intelligence system capable of integrating information from different sources, from images of the skin surface to demographic data, medical records and even genomic information of the patient through a saliva sample.
From the UdG it is expected that this work, one of the 5 chosen by the European Union out of 158 proposals, will improve detection rates and generate highly individualized diagnoses.
The tool is based on the most recent trends in artificial intelligence to combine available data obtained with existing technologies such as dermoscopic images with the information generated by the iToBoS scanner.
The algorithms will also integrate additional patient data such as medical history, genome, age or sex, to evaluate the spots taking into account the characteristics of each person.
Successive and systematic scans will also make it possible to detect the changes that occur in these freckles and add this information to the artificial intelligence system.
The project thus proposes a global system to holistically calculate the risk of each patient and diagnose skin diseases earlier and with more precision.
The UdG leads the international consortium of 19 organizations that are part of the project and that make up universities, institutions and companies from different European countries, which are joined by three hospitals, one of them from Australia.
Skin cancer has increased in the last ten years, although it is cured if treated early, as confirmed by the fact that more than 90% of melanoma patients are still alive after five years if treated early.
That record is reduced to 23 percent or less if metastasis has occurred, so rapid diagnosis is essential to ensure action before spread occurs.