Signing both companies, which both did robust due diligence on the system before signing on, is a huge statement of faith in the new skin cancer assessment technology, which promises fast, much more efficient assistance for GPs in making decisions around potential skin cancers.
DermEngine has been described by some skin specialists as ‘the Netflix or Spotify’ of skin cancer assessment by some skin clinic doctors. Instead of buying expensive camera equipment and relying on experience in assessment, which can costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, DermEngine is a subscription-based service that starts at as little as $150 a month and gives a doctor immediate access to one of the largest artificial intelligence databases of skin cancer photos and diagnoses in the world.
The equipment required is a smartphone and an inexpensive compatible dermatoscope. The power of the system is a the AI algorithms plus the amount of data building in the DermEngine database.
The AI inside DermEngine compares images of moles with thousands of other images in the system and presents the user with pie charts on how many of these other moles turned out to be malignant. It is not being pushed by MetaOptima as a diagnosis tool, but as a tool that assists the decision making process of doctors with much more information.
MetaOptima signed a national agreement with Sonic Healthcare last week to implement DermEngine software across the Australian Skin Cancer Centres and the IPN Family Medical Centres Network. It will be initially rolled out to all 35 skin cancer clinics and then pushed outwards to the family medical centres over time.
Yesterday, MetaOptima announced it had also gone live with its DermEngine software in all the Healius Skin2 specialist clinics in the business but Healius will also be looking to expand the service throughout its network of GP centres.
Winning the confidence of both major GP corporates, and the announce intention of each company to carefully introduce the service outside its specialist skin centres, announces DermEngine as a potentially huge new source of revenue for a large number of GP groups and may revolutionise the speed and effectiveness of skin cancer diagnosis across the country. Where before good diagnosis was mainly in the domain of specialist centres and specialist dermatologists, the DermEngine database and technology is promising to bring the power of AI and data to help a new generation of GPs in being able to take part in the service for their patients.
Peter Birch, general manager of MetaOptima Asia Pacific, said of the deals that he was incredibly excited and proud that DermEngine had been chosen by both Sonic and Healius to move their businesses forward in this important field, and that “we are proud to work alongside a business that shares our vision of equipping doctors and nurses with intelligent, state of the art technologies to enable better skin health outcomes for their patients”.
Dr John Levy, Medical Director of the Sonic Skin 2 Clinics program, commented that DermEngine was a very positive step forward for the business in both patient care and for their doctors.
“The technology enables us to better diagnose and manage skin cancer, collaborate with each other to obtain second opinions as well as teach our colleagues through knowledge sharing.”