Technological advancement is more prominent than ever, in just about every aspect of modern life. From life at home to life at work, and everywhere in between, there can be no denying that digitalisation and technological enhancement now play – and continue to tighten their hold on – an exceedingly significant role in the world as we now know it, and going forward. From the expected (in fields like business, for example) to the entirely unexpected (fields like skin health, for instance), technological enhancement is becoming more and more present every day.
Considering skin health, there is something intriguing about the ways in which technological advancement are assisting the growth of the industry tenfold. The whole point of technological innovation is to strengthen the area that it impacts, and perhaps nowhere else is this type of advancement as important or as positive as it is in the health industry. Skin health is an area of the larger health sector that could use a lot more attention to detail, and thanks to ongoing advancements in AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities, that is finally happening.
Technological impact in dermatology
Ultimately, dermatology (the study of skin), is an area of the larger global health industry that is in genuine need of a substantial boost to meet expectations. The fact is that while dermatology is quite the impressive field, there is always room for improvement (as there is anywhere else). A recent study that highlighted the utilisation of an AI machine to test its success rate in diagnosing melanomas against the skills of registered dermatologists showed interesting results that suggested that not only is there room for AI implementation in dermatology, but that it should be a stand out strategy from the onset, going forward.
Breaking down the stats
The machine in question is a deep learning convolutional neural network (i.e. a CNN), and was tested against the skills of fifty-eight dermatologists from seventeen countries around the world. While the dermatologists who were part of the study had a highly significant success rate of finding melanomas in study patients (86.6%, to be exact), the artificial intelligence machine used in the study successfully found 95% of melanomas, and with less information to go on case to case. With 232,000 new cases of melanoma, and 55,500 deaths every year, this is research that is worth its weight in gold, practically priceless.
What this means for the future of dermatology
Essentially, if the AI technology behind the CNN continues to progress in the positive pivotal trajectory that it currently is, the future of dermatology is going to be significantly more convenient and efficient. While dermatologists are no doubt valuable to the field, the inclusion of AI machines that detect melanomas (and possibly in the future, other cancers and diseases as well) quicker and with a greater success rate across the broad, is a relatively fresh concept that now officially has the proof in the pudding. Going forward, this technology will revolutionise dermatology even more, in the most positive ways.