The global and Russian markets for medical technical products are rapidly developing. Already now, we see a lot of useful devices, ranging from Voice2Med, a voice-filled medical document program from the STC GC, to services that, based on a list of symptoms, determine the likelihood of a particular disease. Innovation penetrates all areas. Let's consider trends emerging in dermatology and cosmetology.
The skin is not only the largest, but also a very vulnerable organ. It is affected by a huge number of external and internal aggressive factors. Millions of skin diseases are diagnosed annually. Thus, in Russia about 6 million people a year visit dermatologists with various problems for the first time, and the total number of patients with skin diseases is several million more. Moreover, there are both adults and children, including newborns, among the patients. Therefore, the issues of accurate and prompt diagnostics come to the fore. Various diagnostic tools and new medical technologies help to reduce the subjectivity of assessments, increase the accuracy of diagnostics, and expand the knowledge base of dermatologists.
It is clearly seen in the example of a dermatoscope how perfect medical technology is becoming today. Once it was a powerful microscope with special lighting, which was used to examine the skin, nails and hair. Today, the dermatoscope has become digital, it helps the doctor examine the neoplasm on the skin, take a high-precision image (with autofocus and multiple zoom), and then analyze it using the capabilities of artificial intelligence.
The use of digital dermatoscopy helps avoid underdiagnosis or overdiagnosis. Also, such examination allows you to get a second opinion or conduct medical consultations without the live presence of doctors. This saves time and gives professionals and patients more options.
In addition to analyzing skin images (including by individual pixels), artificial intelligence systems today make predictions for one or another type of dermatological treatment. For example, programs that calculate the degree of complexity when performing micrographic operations MOS (MONS). Today it is already the gold standard in the treatment of skin cancer, when the tumor is removed, and healthy tissues are preserved as much as possible. AI helps to predict the outcome of the operation and establish the best order of treatment for patients.
AI systems are created not only for doctors, but also for patients. For example, there are applications that analyze neoplasms on the skin according to dozens of parameters (peeling, area, delineation of borders, etc.) and "make" a preliminary diagnosis. In this way, psoriasis, dermatitis, ringworm, eczema, etc. can be detected.
The quarantine that covered the whole world in 2020 has turned our ideas about many areas of life upside down. Including health care: telemedicine and the possibility of receiving medical care at a distance came to the fore.
Thus, the Swedish company iDoc24 offers a mobile dermatoscope DermLite Handyscope, which can be used with tablets and smartphones. It is attached to the gadget with special mounts, equipped with a special backlight, and you can control the device from a special application.
In 2021, Google announced the creation of an analytics tool that can help people diagnose dermatological problems. If a person has a question about the condition of the skin, nails or hair, then they need to upload three photos from different angles to the system, as well as answer several questions about the symptoms. The algorithm will analyze all the information and make recommendations. Of course, such diagnosis will not replace a visit to the doctor, but Google noted that they receive about a billion queries about dermatology a year.
Developments are underway in this area in Russia too. One of the leaders here is Scanderm, a startup studio that has released a dermatitis analysis service that includes a comprehensive system for recognizing criteria for skin problems, thanks to which it can even predict possible diseases. Together with one of the largest pharmaceutical companies, Scanderm launched a social project to identify 9 skin conditions with an accuracy of more than 90%, and is developing a nail diagnostic algorithm in Korea with a subsidiary of Samsung.
The founders of the company, Mikhail Sumin and Evgeny Sobolev, got the opportunity to develop their startup in 2016 thanks to the GenerationS Corporate Innovation Development Platform. They passed the acceleration program and won 500,000 rubles, having received the audience award. Interestingly, a few years later, in 2021, Scanderm became the first company from Russia to enter the top 3 among 10,500 startups from 129 countries in the largest accelerator of the South Korean government, the K-Startup Grand Challenge.
Since 2019, more than 1.8 million visitors from 120 countries have visited Scanderm startup studio services. For users, the testing process is intuitive — first you need to answer questions in order for the system to determine whether your problem is on the list of recognizable diseases (conditions). Then you need to upload a photo of the affected skin area. The image will be analyzed using computer vision. As a result of testing, the person receives an assumption concerning the disease the problem may correspond to.
Now the company is actively developing its service for diagnosing Covid-19. According to the developers, this is a kind of checklist for symptoms and analysis of the skin image, since the skin condition can be one of the symptoms of Covid. With this universal test, which is available both in Telegram and on the main website, the company ranked 2nd out of 797 AI startups in the Archipelago 20:35, November 2020, and it was also included in 1 of 46 projects that helped Moscow enter the top 3 cities with coronavirus innovation among 40 countries (according to StartupBlink, 2021).
The Scanderm team continues to refine the system for diagnosing skin and nail diseases, expanding the capabilities of AI algorithms, and is also making a service for a corporate retail customer, which will then become free for users.