USW researchers working on app that could help GPs spot potential skin problems

USW researchers working on app that could help GPs spot potential skin problems

Researchers at the University of South Wales (USW) are working to develop an app that could help streamline the diagnosis of skin cancer.  

Led by Associate Professor Dr Janusz Kulon, the USW team, in collaboration with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, has been using Artificial Intelligence to help analyse anonymised data collected from NHS patients.

The project was set up to develop a tool which could help GPs more easily identify potential skin cancers and then refer the patients to specialists to manage any required treatment.

“Dermatologists have been overwhelmed in the past by the number of referrals they have received from GPs who were looking for a specialist to decide if skin lesions needed some further investigation,” Dr Kulon said.

“Because GPs are not specially trained in spotting potentially malignant marks on a patient’s skin, they basically had to send every potential case for analysis.”

Having been given access to data from thousands of NHS patients and the results of analysis of their potential skin problems, the team has been working to develop the app to help GPs decide if a referral to a specialist is required. 

“By being given access to the patient data and the outcomes of the examinations by specialists, including histopathology results, we can identify particular characteristics of any abnormalities which are especially diagnostically challenging and develop a more objective system to support GPs in diagnosing skin lesions,” Dr Kulon said.

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