Researchers train computer to identify skin cancer

A team of Stanford researchers trained a computer to identify images of skin cancer moles and lesions as accurately as a dermatologist, according to a new paper published in the journal, Nature.

The new research suggests that in the future, a simple cell phone app may help patients diagnose a skin cancer, the most common of all cancers in the U.S., for themselves.

"Our objective is to bring the expertise of top-level dermatologists to places where the dermatologist is not available," Sebastian Thrun, senior author of the new study, said in a statement, noting that people who live in developing countries do not have the same level of care as can be found in the U.S. and other industrialized nations.

With a team of researchers, Prof. Thrun developed a deep learning computer system to perform the first task in detecting skin cancer: identifying it at a glance.

Essentially, the team created an automated dermatologist.

The study can be accessed here.