Cancer Detection App SkinVision’s $3.4M Funding Shows Technology’s Growing Prowess in Healthcare

Europe based skin cancer detection app, SkinVision has raised an amount of $3.4 million led by global healthcare company LEO Pharma.

As part of the deal, LEO Pharma will work with SkinVision’s leadership team on global solutions that can expand the reach of SkinVision’s technology solutions. With the help of the raised funds, SkinVision plans to build on its technology and also establish stronger ties with national healthcare systems in select markets, as reported by TechCrunch.

Launched in 2011, the app allows its users to to track changes to their moles. Users can take a photo of their mole, post which the app performs visual analysis, with the aim of identifying suspicious growths such as melanoma. Traffic light system is applied to rate the moles (using a red, orange or green risk rating). Changing mole (color, size, symmetry etc.) is a clear indication that something is wrong. Users can also save the images so as to look into the different moles at different time.

The application is available for both iOS and Android users. And it has been downloaded more than 200,000 times till date. Presently the company monetizes through different monthly subscription pricing models, which vary depending on the country.

Company CEO Dick Uyttewaal talking about the technology said, “The algorithm within the online assessment reviews signs of non-natural growth of skin lesions and is based on an established mathematical methodology in biology called fractal geometry.” Further adding he said, “The algorithm currently looks at seven different criteria and will be further improved based on the continuous growth in our database (currently in excess of 1 million pictures).”

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Healthcare segment has been attracting a lot of innovation and investment lately. There are many startups and apps being developed everyday to help this segment grow rapidly and is at the same time easily accessible to the people. As reported in October 2014, Google was developing a wearable that can detect cancer using nanotechnology. The nanoparticles will be ingested via a pill, that will send data back to sensor on a wristband, to act as an early warning system. It will also help detect disease within the body, thereby act as a monitoring tool. In 2014 it also announced its project of developing new smart contact lens that could help control diabetes. The project exhibiting little certainty of turning into a reality has finally taken shape after healthcare company Novartis stepped in to licence the technology so it could one day be commercialised.

In December 2014, IBM had announced its partnership with Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre on Cognitive Computer technology to analyze and detect dermatological images of skin lesions so as to help identify the various cancerous disease states as many as 97 percent of the time.

Catalia Health raised an investment of $1.25 million in June 2015 to work on its robotics technology. The robots designed by the company will provide information and support to patients suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, cancer and heart disease.

Whether it is an established company like Google or startups, technology is transforming healthcare. It is playing a crucial role in reforming the entire system, improving access to people and also at the same time saving lives. The reach of technological innovation continues to grow, changing industries as it evolves and still holds massive potential to grow further in an attempt of making the best out of already available good.