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Hyderabad youngsters developed a software that detects skin cancer

Praneeth Shah & Siddharth Mandala

Hyderabad-based youngsters developed a software that can detect skin cancer at its early stages. Siddharth Mandala and Praneet Shah collaborated with a dermatologist from Apollo Hospital to write a piece of software that has the potential to enable healthcare providers at remote locations to detect malignant melanoma among patients.

All one has to do is use a phone camera to live steam the images of the patient’s skin onto a personal computer, where the software or algorithm analyses the images and starts displaying the results. “The program uses image recognition and detection algorithms that work by understanding the colour and pattern differences between a normal skin and an infected one,” explains Mandala.

The 18-year-olds worked on the software under the guidance of Dr AS Kumar, a dermatologist with Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad. While Shah worked mainly on the core programming, Mandala worked on understanding how malignant melanoma works, and took up the responsibility of testing the technology with the doctor.

“We tried to come up with simple solutions by utilising readily available tools and help people who are left behind by expensive technical medicine. We hope that the program will be helpful in medical camps that are conducted in rural areas where people cannot go to big hospitals to get the tests done,” he said.

The youngsters said they have received encouraging results after testing the software in real world conditions. “So far, the software was tested with hundreds of medical record pictures and the results were positive,” Mandala said.

(The article originally published in

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Ashok Kumar

Dr. Ashok Kumar is Chemistry Professor, Blogger, Film maker, Writer and Traveler.

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