Leeds Beckett Staff And Students Develop Innovative Medical App To Detect Skin Cancer

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Staff and students from Leeds Beckett University have developed an app that is helping medical professionals to accurately identify malignant and benign skin lesions and growths at an earlier stage.
The result of four years’ funded development by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, Dermofit is an innovative training and reference tool designed for use by non-specialist professionals in the medical community, including GPs, clinic nurses, dermatology specialist nurses and medical students.
Featuring a research-based expert image library of more than 1,000 skin lesions, Dermofit has been developed in conjunction with Simedics Limited, a leading healthcare media company that produce specialist publications and digital solutions for the healthcare industry.
Bal Singh, Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering at Leeds Beckett University and lead developer, explained: “Through the University’s Enterprise Service, we were approached by Simedics Limited to develop a prototype app to be tested on mobile devices.
“Developed in the University’s App Studio, which is run by myself and my colleague Patrick Ingham, and which employs Leeds Beckett students on industrial placements, the app uses an intuitive algorithm to automatically group library photos of skin lesions based on their colour and texture properties, and is based on the following four specifications:
• Lesion Search – is used to identify specific lesion types and build an understanding of the similarities and differences between lesion classes.
• Slideshow – is used to display custom slideshows of images from selected lesion classes.
• Library Search – is a browsable reference library containing all of the images used within the Dermofit App.
• Tutorial – to be used to practise and test one’s ability to correctly identify specific lesions from within the Dermofit image library.”
Available through Apple’s iTunes store, the app is for educational use only and not for diagnostic purposes. It can be viewed at
Matthew Driver, Managing Director of Simedics Limited, said: “Working with the App Lab at Leeds Beckett University has allowed us to access a team of skilled developers who have been able to provide the necessary technical expertise to bring Dermofit to market. We were even able to incorporate a number of features into the solution that we didn’t think would be initially possible.
“By working with Leeds Beckett University we were also fortunate to be awarded SIP (Small Innovation Project) funding by the Yorkshire Innovation Fund which helped finance the development project.
“Even though Dermofit has only been available on the App Store for a short period of time we have already received significant interest from around the world, and are already working with a number of partners to incorporate the app within dermatology teaching programmes.”
Andrew Raby, Business Development Manager at Leeds Beckett University, added: “At Enterprise Services we help businesses access University expertise and support. In this case we were able to work with Simedics Limited to facilitate their access to our mobile app development studio facilitated by our academics and students.
“The project has resulted in the creation of a new app which we expect will help a lot of people to have skin conditions diagnosed quickly, accurately and efficiently.”

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