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Dubai student's project to detect skin cancer

Khaleej Times 2019-02-10 22:57:10

An Indian student in Dubai has created an artificial intelligence (AI) system to detect skin cancer early on through "more affordable" means.

Atharv Naik, a pupil at Cambridge International School, has already run successful test phases, where he was able to diagnose cancerous skin moles on patients.
He's currently in talks with health authorities and clinics in the UAE to get his product licensed and released into the market.

The invention is meant to offer health professionals and patients an affordable alternative to early detection of skin cancer.

"I've been working on improving the product, getting it to a high standard, improving accuracy, and bringing the cost down even further. The AI used is an algorithm that checks through a database and finds patterns between cancerous and non-cancerous skin moles. This will assist clinicians and self-diagnosis systems," Naik told Khaleej Times.

"In response to the few cancers that are increasing every year, what I decided to do is apply my technological knowledge in the field of AI and applied research.
"Usually, cancer biopsies and other diagnosis methods are quite expensive. What my project does is that it uses these technologies to bring down the cost and provide an affordable infrastructure that can address this challenge in the healthcare industry. I have worked with several companies, as well as IBM and MIT's fab lab, to further develop this."

In terms of testing, Naik has been working with clinics in Dubai to gather patient data and get images tested. His system has achieved an 85 per cent accuracy rate.
While carrying out simulation testing phases with IBM Watson, Naik had a 100 per cent accuracy rate in early detection.

"When we talk about the healthcare industry, it really is a very exciting field in terms of conversions of exponential technologies such as AI. Through these conversions, we are really seeing a period where applications of these technologies can have exponential impact," he said.

Naik's project was first displayed at last year's edition of the annual Global Innovation Showcase, where students are required to pitch products that can positively impact people at a global scale.

His product made it to the finals of the competition, where he was taken to San Francisco and pitched his idea to investors.

Michael Gernon, senior vice-president and global head of innovation, research and development at GEMS, the organisers of the showcase, said: "Atharv came up with a great idea, he works with MIT, found his own researcher and experts and is now in discussions with Dubai's healthcare industry to make this into an actual product they want to use."

sarwat@khaleejtimes.com


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