Noticing a tiny new lesion on a skin is often the most important step in stopping melanoma. Most of us don’t obsessively examine every inch of our bodies on a regular basis, and even those that do may not notice a new spot that randomly appears on the lower back. There are already technologies that can notice new skin moles appear between screenings, but they don’t provide a lot of resolution for a dermatologist to zoom in to examine the object much closer. This leads to additional digital dermatoscopy, which eats both time and cost.
A new gigapixel camera from Duke University may solve this problem since it allows whole-body photography at 75 micron resolution. It works using one main objective lens and 34 tiny cameras that work together to create a high resolution image. Using software to process images taken during every physical exam, one should be able to spot new lesions and send closeup views of them to a dermatologist for a quick look.
The technology will be presented for the first time at the The Optical Society’s (OSA) 98th Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics, later this month in Tucson, Arizona.
Wonder how the hair affects the detection.
[Daniel Marks, one of the co-authors on the paper] pointed out that although the resolution of the gigapixel camera is not as high as the best dermatoscope, it is significantly better than normal photography, allows for a larger imaging area than a dermatoscope and could be used for telemedicine, which could make the routine screening available to a larger number of people, even in remote locations.
The gigapixel imaging technology is based on the multiscale camera design, which is part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program “Advanced Wide Field-of-View Architectures for Image Reconstruction and Exploitation.”
Though the camera will still have to prove effective in clinical trials before becoming routinely available to patients, the researchers have gathered enough preliminary data on a healthy volunteer to demonstrate that it has adequate resolution and the field of view needed for skin disease screening. The next step, they say, is to test how well it works in the clinic.
Optical Society: The Skin Cancer Selfie…