A non-invasive medical decision support prototype system for Dermatology based on electrical impedance spectroscopy (DermaSense)
Premature detection of malignant melanoma remains the primary factor in reducing mortality from this form of cancer. During the last decade diagnostic sensitivity and specificity have improved through the utilization of new computer-based technologies, which help improve lesion selection for pathology review and biopsy. Despite these advances in melanoma diagnosis, initial detection, timely recognition and quick treatment of melanoma remain crucial. Despite the fact that the gold standard for diagnosis remains pathologic examination, this form of cancer has the potential to be diagnosed through non-invasive and radiation-free techniques that are based on electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). For this reason, the aim of this study was to design a prototype device (now in its 2nd generation) which will be able to assist clinicians detect early stage melanoma. The DermaSense electrical impedance spectroscopy system (EIS) , a novel portable dermatological scanner, offers non-invasive electrical impedance spectroscopy data from multiple dry electrodes placed on a patient’s skin. A proof of concept prototype of the DermaSense device has been constructed and is currently being evaluated, while clinical pilot measurements related to melanoma are being planned. Initial testing results of the device are promising, enriching the objective physiological evidence available to dermatologists at the point of care. The purpose of this paper is to provide initial results from evaluating the prototype device and to propose statistical processes which can reveal diagnostically meaningful patterns in the data.