Reviewing Photos with SkinIO
In this post I’d like to discuss how SkinIO can integrate into a regular skin exam in a dermatology office.
Dermatologists are experts on skin and have more insight than our algorithms and models can capture. Our systems can recognize change and match patterns, but they do not have the depth or intuition that a human mind does.
Our goal in designing SkinIO for dermatologists was to augment and expand the in-person skin exams that they are already performing. We’re not trying to replace anyone, instead we’re trying to increase the availability of information and allow the professionals to perform a better exam with less effort.
We’re not trying to replace anyone, instead we’re trying to increase the availability of information and allow the professionals to perform a better exam with less effort.
Historically skin exams were performed with the assistance of a mole mapping diagram.
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In the diagram above, you can see the mm measurements of actual moles recorded along with the date. Even with the tracking, change is hard to identify due to the amount of information in the image, and because the only information tracked is the information that is explicitly chosen.
With SkinIO there is no need to manually identify spots. After the photos are taken, a complete map of a patient’s body is created from those images. Instead of marking every point, time can be focused specifically on the ones of high interest.
Should a spot not be identified or tracked by a doctor the first time around, there is nothing to worry about. Because of SkinIO and the images that we pull data from, it’s already being monitored.
There are two major types of skin exam performed with SkinIO, the initial exam and the followup.
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The Initial Skin Exam
The first time a patient comes in for a skin exam with skinIO, they’ll need to have a baseline set of photos taken. This baseline set of 13 photos provides the foundation for their skin health record.
Within 15 minutes of uploading the photos, results will be ready. As individual photos complete processing, they become available for use immediately.
As soon as the results are in it is possible to add:
- Dermoscopic images
- Notes — Written messages on spots
- Tags — Links to education material for patients
on any spot.
Attaching dermoscopic images to the spot adds them to the spot’s entire timeline. When that spot is detected in future photos, the dermoscopic photo will be available for easy viewing. Additional dermoscopic photos allow for comparison, just like photos.
It’s also possible to add new spots and mark spots as new, changed, or suspicious.
Adding tags is easy and allows a patient to receive targeted information on a particular lesion.
Any spot can be annotated with this information, and all spots come with sizing information.
These properties are unique to each spot on each photo and can be used when comparing images over time.
Instead of having to manually record this information, it is generated simply by using SkinIO.
The information SkinIO generates allows dermatologists to focus on the patient instead of worrying about collecting data.
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The Followup Skin Exam
When a patient returns to the office 6 months, 1 year, 2 years after their initial skin exam, there is no need to remember what their skin looked like then. Instead of focusing on hand-written notes or diagrams, SkinIO provides an accurate and detailed map of all of a patient’s skin.
Should the patient decline another set of photos, SkinIO is still valuable. The history and comparison provides much more longitudinal information than exists in the current status quo.
But if the patient does take another set of photos, that’s where SkinIO can really shine.
When another set of photos has been taken, all detected spots will be automatically matched to the older photos. This means that annotations (notes, dermoscopic images, and tags) are attached to the spot throughout time, not just on a particular photo. The comparison tools allow for easy review of the images and the sizing data that is collected.
Instead of reviewing notes, a skin exam can be done with the patient in person and data from all of the past visits. Changed spots, and new spots are easier to identify, with less overhead to track them.
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SkinIO isn’t trying to replace the expertise of dermatologists. Instead we are trying to build tools to allow dermatologists to perform their jobs faster and better than was possible before.
Why worry about relying on memory alone?