The Netherlands’ Erasmus University Medical Center and an international team of investigators has determined that SkinVision, the first CE-marked skin cancer application thoroughly tested in clinical studies, reports a sensitivity of 95.1% in detecting the most common forms of skin cancer. The study was recently published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (JEADV). The investigators evaluated the accuracy of the application for triaging skin lesions. Because of its powerful sensitivity, the SkinVision system can with a high degree of accuracy detect skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Challenges
A growing health care problem, there are up to 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers annually. One in three cancers diagnosed are skin cancers. 95% of skin cancers can be successfully dealt with if caught at an early stage.
What follows is a question/answer for the SkinVision technology.
What is SkinVision?
Based in the Netherlands and founded in 2011, SkinVision mobilizes and empowers consumers to act on their skin health, being the first CE-certified skin cancer app. Their technology uses an innovative algorithm to analyze skin spots, enabling customers and the health system to minimize cases of skin cancer. They seek to save 250,000 lives by 2027.
Who is the CEO?
What is the Company Size?
They are privately held, but in LinkedIn, they report 11 to 50 size range and 40 actual professionals identify SkinVision as their employer. Revenues are estimated at approximately two to three million.
How much Venture Capital have they Raised?
The venture first raised $3.4 million in 2015 from Leo Pharma and PHS Fund. It was reported Leo Pharma invested some more in 2017 and, most recently, they received $7.6 million again from Leo Pharma and PHS Fund. The company has raised in total $13 million.
To evaluate the sensitivity of the SkinVision algorithm, the clinical investigators used 285 histopathological validated skin cancer cases from two previously published clinical trials and the smartphone application user database. The specificity was computed on a separate set from the user base, which contained 6,000 clinically-validated cases.
What is the market trends?
The field of mHealth apps for the risk of assessment of skin cancer is undergoing rapid evolution. This study (and others based on clinical images) show that the application of machine learning in large image databases leads to a high sensitivity to distinguish between malignant and benign skin cancer cases.
Principal Investigator Comments
Andreea Udrea, PhD, researcher at SkinVision, associated professor at University Politehnica of Bucharest, reported, “Providing the layperson with a highly sensitive, robust and easy-to-use method to check skin lesions for cancer has been the SkinVision research team’s goal for the past seven years.”
Erasmus MC is currently preparing a prospective study for further clinical validation, which will be performed at the Outpatient Dermatology Department in the upcoming month.
What countries are SkinVision available in?
The SkinVision app is available in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and much of Europe. The company is negotiating large deals in regions such as Dutch insurer CZ and New Zealand insurer Accuro.
Does SkinVision offer a direct to consumer option that has helped them train their algorithms?
Yes. CEO de Heus recently told MobiHealthNews: “The camera (in the product) allows customers to take a photo automatically.” He continued, “So when you hold your phone next to the lesion, the camera automatically detects the lesions and takes a photo. That photo is then run thought a whole pipeline of machine learning networks that recognize the image and rate it as a high, low or medium risk; a traffic light system. This is all done within 20 seconds and this message is provided back to the customer. If it’s a high risk, within 48 hours their dermatologists can get back to the customer.”
What is the Sensitivity Percentages?
The technology is about 96% sensitive on recognizing skin cancer.
Will SkinVision enter the U.S. Market?
Yes. SkinVision will utilize recent funding to move toward an FDA submission in preparation for a US launch.