Canadian students develop AI app for skin cancer detection

A team of international master’s students at the University of Windsor is nearing completion of an innovative application designed to transform the way skin cancer, particularly melanoma, is detected. This cutting-edge app allows users to upload skin images for AI analysis, offering a quick, non-invasive diagnosis potential.

Melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer, was diagnosed in approximately 9,000 Canadians in 2022, with 1,200 fatalities reported. Early detection significantly increases treatment success rates, making timely diagnosis crucial. The app’s development comes as a beacon of hope for enhancing early detection rates.

Ifran Andleeb, originally from India and studying electrical and computer engineering, has spent eight months in Canada working on this project. “After concluding our theoretical research, we’re focusing on deploying our model into a web app, making it accessible nationwide,” Andleeb shared. Despite their non-medical backgrounds, the team embarked on a steep learning curve to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the medical nuances involved.

Joining Andleeb, Almiqdad Elzein from Sudan brings four years of AI experience to the table. He highlighted the inefficiency of traditional biopsy methods and the pioneering nature of their app in using AI for skin cancer detection. “Our approach is distinctive, aiming to mainstream AI in diagnosing skin conditions accurately,” Elzein remarked.

The app’s benefits are threefold: it provides a non-invasive detection method, it doesn’t rely on advanced medical technology, and it aims to make early detection more common. “Regular use could lead to earlier discovery of skin conditions, potentially saving lives,” Elzein added.

Vaibhav Patel, another team member from India, emphasized the growing need for such technology due to rising global temperatures and increasing skin cancer risks. “Our research highlights the importance of making self-checks accessible to everyone, potentially lowering mortality rates,” Patel noted.

The project not only showcases the valuable contributions of international students but also illustrates the synergy between diverse backgrounds and cutting-edge research at the University of Windsor. “International students are a vital asset, bringing unique perspectives and enriching our academic and local communities,” stated Shanthi Johnson, vice-president of research and innovation.

Despite the challenges of adapting to a new country and managing research demands, the team is optimistic about their project’s impact. Andleeb and Elzein, hailing from India and Sudan respectively, appreciate Canada’s advanced research facilities and the opportunity to pursue their passion, highlighting the global collaboration that underpins this groundbreaking initiative.–Web Desk