SkinVision has the potential to change millions of lives across the country
This week sees the arrival of the Netherlands Trade Mission to India. A selection of the leading Dutch firms in Life Sciences & Health will be meeting with Ministers & Industry Leaders, as well as visiting hospitals in Delhi and Bangalore.
One of the most exciting companies to be part of the Mission is a scale-up named SkinVision, that is revolutionising the way skin health is monitored around the world.
SkinVision was founded in 2012 and is a smartphone app that supports individuals with checking for signs of skin cancer. It is a specialist in the (early) recognition of Melanoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma and Precancerous Actinic Keratosis, and has so far found over 15,000 skin cancers globally.
Skin cancer and general skin disease is a growing problem in India. Whilst there has been little comprehensive research on skin cancer across the country, the World Health Organisation estimated that over 5,700 died in 2016 alone, a number that is probably well understated.
More worrying is the high incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer in India. These conditions are less deadly but are often left undiagnosed and untreated in India. This is due to a lack of awareness and difficulty accessing the health system, leading to life-altering disfigurement. SkinVision offers a way even for those living in remote communities to monitor their skin health and to ensure that they receive treatment early enough to gain the best treatment.
The app works on both Android and iOS. When a user takes a photo, it is put through a machine learning algorithm that calculates the fractal dimension of skin lesions and surrounding skin tissues and builds a structural map that reveals the different growth patterns of the tissues involved. It indicates which skin spots should be tracked over time and gives it a low, medium or high-risk indication within 30 seconds.
The algorithm has been tested in several clinical studies. The most recent data shows that the service has a sensitivity of 94% and specificity of 80%. Well above that of a GP (sensitivity 60%), a dermatologist (sensitivity 75%) and even a specialist dermatologist (sensitivity 92%).
In Europe and Australasia SkinVision is partnered with a number of health insurance providers. These companies provide the app for free to all of their policyholders and reimburse SkinVision for its use. This model has allowed thousands of people free access to SkinVision and has offered huge savings to the insurance providers by bringing down the cost of both diagnosis and treatment.
Dick Uyttewaal, Director of Business Development at SkinVision, stated that “the barriers to healthcare is a phenomenal challenge in India for many people and we would like to make a contribution for people with skin conditions. Our technology has the potential to be used by millions of individuals and by clinics across the country to allow for a quick and accurate indication of the early stages of skin cancer even if you live far away from a doctor and don’t have the means to pay for regular skin checks.
The huge distances inherent in the country often mean that people can be a long way from or simply have no access to adequate specialists. We allow anyone with access to a smartphone and an internet connection to have access to dermatologist level care. We can also help health services quickly and efficiently identify at-risk populations, helping bring down costs and waiting times.
We have a team of image recognition experts and dermatologists checking each photo for quality purposes and all high-risk photos receive extra personal advice from our doctors on next steps to take within 48 hours.
SkinVision has been invited on this Trade mission to explore the value of AI health solutions in India. We are extremely excited to have this opportunity to meet potential partners that can help us investigate the scope of this technology to impact the health system in India, we encourage anyone who can help in this mission to reach out to us”.
SkinVision was founded in 2012 and is a service that supports individuals with checking for signs of skin cancer. We are specialist in the (early) recognition of Melanoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma and Precancerous Actinic Keratosis.
SkinVision is the first certified skin cancer application globally based on extensive clinical trials in partnership with the university clinic of Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich in 2013, published in the JEADV in 2014.
The company has built up a customer portfolio of 1,200,000 users globally and a database of 3.5 million pictures of suspicious skin conditions. SkinVision’s headquarters is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
More information at www.skinvision.com