With the support of DigitalHealth.London Accelerator – a programme aiming to speed up the adoption of technology in London’s NHS – SkinVision will work to ensure that people at risk of skin cancer in London are diagnosed and treated earlier. Since March, SkinVision has been supported by the NHS to spread the service as a part of the award-winning NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA), an NHS England initiative delivered in partnership with England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks.
Amsterdam-based SkinVision is a clinically-validated smartphone app that uses artificial intelligence to identify potential skin cancer risk. SkinVision enables users to take a photo of their skin spots with the app’s automatic camera and within 30 seconds, provides a risk indication level ranging from low, low (with symptoms) or high. These images are then added to the algorithm database containing more than 3.5 million pictures – to improve the accuracy of the app. Clinical studies demonstrate that the overall accuracy of the app in recognising skin cancer is in line with experienced dermatologists, and research has been ongoing to assess the app further.
According to the NHS, more than 100.000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK, and skin cancer treatment costs for the NHS are predicted to be £180M in 2020, plus another one billion on consultations. With increasing incidence rates, dermatologists face a massive increase in demand. Early detection of skin cancer is vital since the prognosis is highly dependent on whether the cancer is detected at an early stage. SkinVision aims to relieve pressure on health services by empowering patients to manage their health and reducing unnecessary doctor visits. SkinVision has over 1.2 million users globally and has contributed to the finding of over 35.000 cases of skin cancer, 7.000 of which have been in the UK.
Sara Nelson Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, said, “This year, we received a record number of applications to the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, and are delighted to accept 20 companies, including SkinVision, onto the programme. Between them, they have great potential to make a huge difference to the lives of patients and staff – either directly, or indirectly, through improvements to the way the system runs behind-the-scenes. These innovations could help the NHS draw ever closer to delivering a truly digital, inclusive service for everyone.”
The Accelerator is a partnership between London’s three AHSNs (Health Innovation Network, Imperial College Health Partners, UCLPartners), MedCity, CW+, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. It is also supported by the Mayor of London and is part-funded by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund.
Erik de Heus, CEO of SkinVision, said of the announcement: “We are very proud that SkinVision has been selected to be a part of the Digital.Health London Accelerator to support the NHS with early skin cancer detection. By providing the masses with a tool to monitor their skin health, we aim to relieve the pressure on NHS London and healthcare professionals. In cities like London, with over 8 million residents, it’s fantastic that the NHS is working with health technology solutions to improve healthcare for patients. Our partnerships in the UK are providing us with great support and education to speed the uptake of our service and continue driving early skin cancer detection.”
SkinVision was founded in 2012 and is an awareness and tracking solution that supports individuals with the early recognition of skin cancer (melanoma, BCC, SCC, and pre-malignant stages). SkinVision is the first certified skin cancer application based on extensive clinical trials, conducted in partnership with the university clinic of Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU). The results of these trials were published in the JEADV in 2014. The app’s sensitivity is well above that of the average GP (sensitivity 60%), a dermatologist (sensitivity 75%) and even a specialist dermatologist (sensitivity 92%). SkinVision has partnerships with leading health insurers, skin cancer clinics, and research universities in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. The SkinVision app is commercially available worldwide except for the United States and Canada.
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Notes to editors:
- The project is receiving up to £1.7 million of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
- The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.
- For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding