Skin cancer screenings can be very time consuming, so lately there have been systems designed that take high resolution full-body photos and compare them after successive scans to spot new moles. The new Dermascanner from Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation in Germany does this, but it also is able to map out the 3D structure of the skin at half millimeter resolution. This allows the Dermascanner to spot and watch moles to see if they grow upward, not just horizontally.
The system uses multiple cameras and 3D sensors that are carefully calibrated to define the location of lesions. The software compensates for the body being a slightly different position during each scan, maintaining the ability to compare images at high resolution. It does automatic classification of moles and recommends dermatologists which to focus their attention on.
“A single patient frequently has several hundred moles,” said Prof. Harald Gollnick, Director of the University Clinic for Dermatology and Venerology, in a statement. “The new full body, early skin cancer detection system makes a nearly standard evaluation of skin condition and changes possible for the first time.”