London-based medical technology company Skin Analytics has been awarded funding from the NHS Cancer Programme Innovation open call, with the support of SBRI Healthcare and the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative, to scale use in the NHS of its AI technology that detects skin cancer.
The AI tool, DERM, analyses skin lesions to help doctors find cancers at an early stage. Already in use by several NHS trusts including Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, the highly accurate AI has helped over 38,000 NHS patients and detected more than 2,200 cancer cases to date.
This new funding will support Skin Analytics and NHS services to open three new skin cancer pathways across England, accessible via community hubs, meaning that thousands more patients will have access to the world-leading DERM skin cancer pathway later this year.
Neil Daly, founder and CEO of Skin Analytics, said: “By providing communities with faster and more convenient access to skin cancer assessments, our technology will help to improve outcomes for those diagnosed with cancer and for NHS teams. .” “The extension of the NHS’s partnership with Skin Analytics is another positive example of the NHS championing world-leading technologies and the next generation of dermatology pathways
In a review of over 10,000 lesions seen in the last year, DERM identified 98.7% of cancers, including 100% of melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma, while also identifying over seven out of 10 benign lesions that did not require specialist input.
The company will co-create three AI community diagnostic hubs (CDH) with NHS services: Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB), Hereford and Worcester ICB, and Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB, to provide people with access to faster, accurate skin cancer assessments without the need to visit their GP practice.
Skin Analytics is one of several organisations to have secured NHS Cancer Programme Innovation open call funding. The bid was supported by the East of England Cancer Alliance.
Dr Linda Hunter, clinical director for East of England Cancer Alliance (North), said: “We are delighted that this world-class technology will be available in our region, giving people access to fast and accurate skin cancer checks.
“The number of urgent referrals for skin cancer has now reached an average of almost 7,000 a month– that’s the highest number of urgent checks out of all cancer pathways in the region.
“This latest innovation will reduce pressure on NHS teams and ensure that people get the right treatment as soon as possible, in line with the East of England Cancer Strategy.”