Using artificial intelligence to increase knowledge about pigment changes and skin cancer

26 January, 2018

With SEK 1.3 million in support from Vinnova, Gnosco is collaborating with the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm and Karolinska University Hospital in a pioneering initiative that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI).

The aim is to develop and implement AI support in an established healthcare process, where diagnostic support is already used for increased knowledge and early detection of malignant melanoma.

“Early detection of malignant melanoma can save lives,” said Daniel Eliasson, CEO of Gnosco and project manager for the new initiative. Gnosco is one of Sahlgrenska Science Park’s exciting digital health companies. It is part of HealthTech Nordic and growing rapidly.

AI is hot right now, and the project, which puts patient benefit front and centre, is attracting a great deal of interest.

The telemedicine platform Dermicus (developed by Gnosco), combined with improved ways of working, now provides a faster and more efficient clinical decision support process. Dermatologists make assessments based on data and digital dermatoscopic images submitted by primary care physicians via a mobile app.

This provides the ideal conditions to develop an image recognition algorithm, as there has been a continual and structured flow of images and data for several years.

“Studies of AI algorithms for skin cancer are being conducted in several parts of the world. What makes this project unique is that we are first in the world to implement an advanced algorithm in an existing care flow. We’re looking forward to interesting results. The collaboration with specialists at Karolinska and KTH shows that we have some important things going on here,” says Daniel Eliasson.

Karolinska University Hospital uses Dermicus. Assessments of pigment changes are made between at least two skin specialists. The goal is that the new algorithm can provide further support in the assessments, by providing diagnostic proposals.

Vinnova is financing eight projects to develop new healthcare solutions using AI. These projects share combined funding of SEK 21 million. See the Vinnova press release (in Swedish).