Leeds Beckett Uni Launches Dermofit App to Aid Early Cancer Indentification

DermofitStaff and students from Leeds Beckett University have developed an app that is helping medical professionals to accurately identify malignant and benign skin lesions and growths at an earlier stage.

The result of four years’ funded development by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, Dermofit is an innovative training and reference tool designed for use by non-specialist professionals in the medical community, including GPs, clinic nurses, dermatology specialist nurses and medical students.

Featuring a research-based expert image library of more than 1,000 skin lesions, Dermofit has been developed in conjunction with Simedics, a healthcare media company that produces specialist publications and digital solutions for the healthcare industry.

The University was approached by Simedics to develop a prototype app to be tested on mobile devices. The app was developed in the University’s App Studio, which is run by Bal Singh, senior lecturer in the School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering and his colleague Patrick Ingham, and which employs Leeds Beckett students on industrial placements. It uses an intuitive algorithm to automatically group library photos of skin lesions based on their colour and texture properties.

App functionality includes Lesion Search, which is used to identify specific lesion types and build an understanding of the similarities and differences between lesion classes. A Slideshow feature displays custom slideshows of images from selected lesion classes. Library Search is a browsable reference library containing all of the images used within the Dermofit app. Finally, the app includes a tutorial that users can work through to practise and test their ability to correctly identify specific lesions from within the Dermofit image library. The iOS app is for educational use only and not for diagnostic purposes.

“At Enterprise Services we help businesses access University expertise and support,” said
Andrew Raby, business development manager at Leeds Beckett University. “In this case, we were able to work with Simedics to facilitate their access to our mobile app development studio facilitated by our academics and students.

“The project has resulted in the creation of a new app which we expect will help a lot of people to have skin conditions diagnosed quickly, accurately and efficiently.”