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No Dermatologist In Sight? This App Can Lend a Hand

Riding on the wave of machine learning-based medical technology is an app from VisualDx, which assists physicians in making fast and accurate diagnoses, the app creators claim. The app is slated to make its smart phone debut in the fall with the release of iOS 11.

We’ve covered dermatology apps before, but VisualDx’s objective isn’t to provide shortcut diagnoses. The methodology works a little differently. The physician uploads a photo of a lesion to the app, and in seconds, it’s analyzed and identified. From there, the physician can review the assessment and determine possible treatment options.

In the age where many states grapple with dermatologist shortages, and patients living in certain rural and low-income regions must travel hours to the nearest dermatologist, this app could be a lifeline for populations that struggle to access dermatological services. Wait times stretching six months force many to turn to primary care physicians, who have received minimal training in dermatology. VisualDx’s app might be able to fill the gaps where a primary care doctor’s skill set falls short.

The app doesn’t claim to project 100 percent accuracy, but as physicians continue to use the program, it will develop more sophisticated identification methods, and increase the rate of accurate diagnosis. VisualDx will also take into account location-specific health issues and the patient’s health and medication history. In compliance with HIPAA, all data uploaded to the app will be kept confidential and won’t be stored on the cloud.

“Our efforts at VisualDx are all about diagnostic accuracy, with both the patient and the practitioner in mind,” Art Papier, MD, VisualDx’s chief executive officer told mobihealthnews. “Our technology provides a much-needed solution for the global medical community, with the potential to be adapted for other industries.”

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