Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, according to the CDC. In 2014 alone, 76,665 Americans were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin.
The prevalence of the disease prompted Dr. Jean-Christophe Lapiere and Kyoko Crawford to found SkinIO.
The Chicago-based startup’s goal is to enable patients to monitor their skin over time, thereby improving the chances of detecting skin cancer early.
“We don’t have that right now,” Lapiere, who serves as CMO, said in a recent phone interview. “We have no clue on the history of any of these lesions. “Hopefully, we’ll engage [patients] more with checking their skin.”
Patients can start their SkinIO journey from their dermatologist’s office. The process functions as an in-office setup with a photo backdrop. A nurse at the office can use SkinIO’s app to take photos of the patient’s skin, and the dermatologist can review the results.
“Traditionally, dermatologists would have to send their patients out to another clinic that has this. Now they can bring it in-house,” Crawford, the company’s CEO, said in a phone interview. “It helps make that in-person exam a lot more precise.”
SkinIO isn’t limited to patients with a dermatologist.
The startup also has interest from general practitioners, primary care physicians and other providers. In those cases, the model works in a slightly different manner. The physician can use the same office setup and take photos of the patient’s skin. However, instead of that provider reviewing the results, the pictures are sent to SkinIO and reviewed by its internal team of dermatologists.
Patients can also use SkinIO’s mobile app in their homes. They take the photos themselves, and again, the startup’s internal team of dermatologists reviews the images.
Those without a dermatologist can also utilize the SkinIO Network, which Crawford described as a referral network. When skin changes are detected through SkinIO, the startup can refer patients to a dermatologist in their geographic area. The network is currently available in eight states.
In all three patient use models (dermatologist, other provider or at home), the photos are kept, providing a way to track any new growths or changes to the patient’s skin. Each time new pictures are taken, they’re compared to the individual’s baseline set of photos, and any changes are highlighted.
However, Crawford stressed that the Chicago company’s technology is non-diagnostic.
“Its intent is not to label anything that we detect,” she said. “But it’s to detect changes between subsequent sets of photos.”
In the year ahead, the startup anticipates working with more medical dermatology groups, as well as with other potential partners like payers and ACOs.
“We think this is a prime opportunity for this type of technology to make a difference in this particular space,” Crawford concluded.
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Obesity affects nearly 40 percent of adults in the U.S. and has a direct impact on healthcare costs.
Frank’s source: https://medcitynews.com/2017/12/skinio-cancer/
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