Skin cancer can be detected more quickly and accurately by using cognitive computing-based visual analytics, researchers at IBM Research have found, in collaboration with New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In a scan of 3,000 images, IBM technology was able to spot melanoma with an accuracy of about 95 percent, much better than the 75 percent to 84 percent average of today’s largely manual methods.
IBM says it has developed a machine learning system that identified images of skin cancer with better than 95 percent accuracy in experiments, and it’s now teaming up with doctors to see how it can help them do the same. On Wednesday, the company announced a partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering — one of IBM’s early partners on its Watson system — to research the computer vision technology might be applied in medical settings. According to one study, cited in the IBM infographic below, diagnostic accuracy for skin cancer today is estimated at between 75 percent and 84 percent even with computer assistance. If IBM’s research results hold up in the real world, they would constitute a significant improvement.