Publish date: 29 May 2024

A ground-breaking Artificial Intelligence platform which can assess suspected cancerous skin lesions within seconds is being piloted at Tameside Hospital.

Tameside and Glossop NHS ICFT is one of nine Trusts chosen by NHS England to participate in this pilot across the country.

The AI platform triages potentially cancerous skin lesions on patients who have been referred by their GP on an urgent suspected cancer pathway.

Patients will be seen in a timelier manner once referred by their GP and booked to attend an appointment at the Skin AI photographic hub.

Following results of those tests, which are delivered almost instantly, patients with suspected lesions can be diagnosed and treated earlier, or discharged immediately without the requirement for a face to face consultant appointment if their lesion is benign.

The technology will enable the Trust to support theIMG_4919.JPG increasing demand of suspected cancer referrals and ensure urgent cases are seen timely.

The pilot began last week ahead of the summer months where suspected skin cancer referrals are at their peak.

Dr Loma Gardner, Consultant Dermatologist at Tameside Hospital, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for our Dermatology team and our patients within Tameside and Glossop.

“We know the outcomes of a cancer diagnosis are better the earlier treatment begins, so trialling the DERM technology is positive step.

“By implementing DERM into our pathway, we will expand our dermatology capacity by discharging patients with benign lesions without the need for an appointment and freeing up clinical time to see patients who really need us.”

DIMG_4923.JPGERM is trained to classify 11 different lesion types including the most common malignant, pre-malignant, and benign skin lesions.

Since 2020, Skin Analytics have been supporting NHS dermatology teams and are currently deployed across 15 NHS sites in both primary and secondary care.

During that time, DERM has been used in pathways that have seen more than 92,000 patients and identified more than 10,000 cancers across participating Trusts.