Scientists have created an app which can detect nine in 10 of the most deadly cases of skin cancer

Emma Haslett
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A woman takes a photograph of her arm
The app works by analysing photographs of areas users are worried about (Source: SkinVision)

A Dutch company says it aims to save a quarter of a million lives with a new, enhanced version of its app which can detect some of the most deadly forms of skin cancer.

The makers of SkinVision said its new algorithm can identify two of the most deadly forms of melanoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma, for the first time.

The app works by analysing photographs of areas users are worried about. Its makers hope it can save "time and lives" by creating an archive of skin lesions which can be monitored directly by GPs during appointments.

The app, which is available to download for iPhone and Android, can detect nine in every 10 cases of deadly skin cancer, the makers say.

“Our mission is to empower people to early detect skin cancer, which is highly important for possible treatment options,” says SkinVision founder Erik de Heus.

“We aim to save 250,000 lives in the next decade.”

More than 1bn people are at risk of developing skin cancer, SkinVision said. Although melanoma is among the less common types of cancer, it is one of the more aggressive - in the US, it accounts for more than 10,000 of the 13,000 skin cancer deaths each year, although 5.4m non-melanoma skin cancer cases are identified every year.

"Our latest research shows 88 per cent sensitivity towards melanoma skin cancer. Our work has been scientifically tested in the leading dermatology clinic at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Clinic in Munich," said de Heus.

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