Skin cancer (SC), especially melanoma, is a growing public health burden. Experimental studies have indicated a potential diagnostic role for deep learning (DL) algorithms in identifying SC at varying sensitivities. Previously, it was demonstrated that diagnostics by dermoscopy are improved by applying an additional sonification (data to sound waves conversion) layer on DL algorithms. The aim of the study was to determine the impact of image quality on accuracy of diagnosis by sonification employing a rudimentary skin magnifier with polarized light (SMP).
Dermoscopy images acquired by SMP were processed by a first deep learning algorithm and sonified. Audio output was further analyzed by a different secondary DL. Study criteria outcomes of SMP were specificity and sensitivity, which were further processed by a F2-score, i.e. applying a twice extra weight to sensitivity over positive predictive values.
Patients (n = 73) fulfilling inclusion criteria were referred to biopsy. SMP analysis metrics resulted in a receiver operator characteristic curve AUC's of 0.814 (95% CI, 0.798–0.831). SMP achieved a F2-score sensitivity of 91.7%, specificity of 41.8% and positive predictive value of 57.3%. Diagnosing the same set of patients' lesions by an advanced dermoscope resulted in a F2-score sensitivity of 89.5%, specificity of 57.8% and a positive predictive value of 59.9% (P=NS).
DL processing of dermoscopic images followed by sonification results in an accurate diagnostic output for SMP, implying that the quality of the dermoscope is not the major factor influencing DL diagnosis of skin cancer. Present system might assist all healthcare providers as a feasible computer-assisted detection system.
The Lancet, EBioMEdicine; May 2019, Volume 43, Pages 107–113