Efficacy of smartphone applications in high-risk pigmented lesions

Ngoo, Alexander, Finnane, Anna, Mcmeniman, Erin, Tan, Jean-Marie, Janda, Monika and Soyer, H. Peter (2017) Efficacy of smartphone applications in high-risk pigmented lesions. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, . doi:10.1111/ajd.12599

Author Ngoo, Alexander
Finnane, Anna
Mcmeniman, Erin
Tan, Jean-Marie
Janda, Monika
Soyer, H. Peter
Title Efficacy of smartphone applications in high-risk pigmented lesions
Journal name Australasian Journal of Dermatology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1440-0960
Publication date 2017-02-27
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ajd.12599
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Total pages 8
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background/Objectives: Melanoma apps are smartphone applications that assess risk of pigmented lesions using a smartphone camera and underlying algorithm. We aimed to assess the capability of melanoma smartphone applications (apps) in making clinical decisions about risk, compared with lesion assessment by specialist trained dermatologists.

Methods: A prospective study of 3 melanoma apps was conducted between 2015 and 2016, recruiting 30 patients with 57 pigmented lesions. Risk categories assigned by the apps were compared with the clinical decisions of two consultant dermatologists classifying lesions as 'suspicious' or 'benign'.

Results: Of the 42 lesions deemed clinically suspicious to a dermatologist, from 9 to 26 were classified as suspicious by the apps; of the 15 clinically benign lesions 3 to 15 were correctly classified as benign by the apps. The apps' sensitivity and specificity ranged from 21 to 72% and 27 to 100.0%, respectively, when compared with the specialists' decisions. Two apps were unable to analyse 14 and 18% of lesions submitted, respectively. Interrater agreement between dermatologists and apps was poor (κ = -0.01 SE = 0.16; P = 0.97) to slight (κ = 0.16 SE = 0.09; P = 0.12).

Conclusions: None of the melanoma apps tested had high enough agreement with the dermatologist's clinical opinion to be considered to provide additional benefit to patients in assessing their skin for high-risk pigmented lesions. The low sensitivity in detecting lesions that are suspicious to a trained specialist may mean false reassurance is being given to patients. Development of highly sensitive and specific melanoma apps remains a work in progress.
Keyword Dermatology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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