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Early Diagnosis of Skincancer using confocal Imaging


EDISCIM will develop a prototype system for the early diagnosis of skin cancer based on confocal imaging. EDISCIM will capture images up to a depth of 1mm and process them in real-time. Similar to an ultra-sonar system, it will display the upper layers of the skin to the physician in the form of a virtual vertical biopsy. Using a classification of skin types in knowledge based system, the physician will be guided in his diagnosis and is able to transfer images for remote consultation. EDISCIM will be validated in clinical trials at two dermatology hospitals.

The EDISCIM project will develop a prototype system for the early diagnosis of skin cancer, which uses confocal imaging for the non-invasive diagnosis of the upper layers of the skin. It will be similarly easy to use as an ultra-sonar system and aid the physician in the analysis of the images and help with the diagnosis through a knowledge based system. A telemedical interface will allow potential remote diagnosis by specialist dermatologists via telediagnosis if need be. EDISCIM will be accompanied by demmatologists who will classify the various skin types and their malignant changes and will extensively test the system in clinical trials.

Based on the principle of confocal imaging, EDISCIM will develop a system which will consist of an innovative sensor head containing the optical equipment, a dedicated hardware for processing the images in real time and for transferring them to a standard PC. A user interface will present the skin image to the doctor similar to a vertical biopsy or cut into the skin. A image database with knowledge based image matching algorithms will guide the doctors in the diagnosis and help to identify malignant conditions of the skin. A telediagnostic interface will facilitate the transmission of images to remote specialists. The medical partners in the project will perform the medical groundwork by providing a classification of the normal skin and of abnormal conditions. At the end of the project they will validate the technology through clinical trials. The preparatory phase of EDISCIM experiments on the basic optical features to find an optimal solution for the sensor is planned. Additionally, the characterisation o different states of the human skin, both normal and cancerous will be undertaken. Close interaction between users and technologists will help to identify the User Requirements and match them against the potential capabilities of the imaging system.

Following the functions of the prototype will be developed. Development will be in two cycles. In each the main components will be developed in parallel followed by system integration. The second cycle will help to debug and to refine or extend the functionality of the system. To get an early feedback on EDISCIM, the first clinical trials phase will be performed in parallel to the second development phase. After final integration of the prototype a second clinical trial will test and evaluate the EDISCIM system. The project will end in an overall evaluation of the prototype including an assessment of the project's success. EDISCIM is accompanied by extensive exploitation and dissemination activities.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Unit 92, Silverbriar, Sunderland Enterprise Park (East)
SR5 2TQ Sunderland
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

Piazzale Spedali Civili
25123 Brescia
Franz-josef-strauss-allee 11
93053 Regensburg
32 Avenue De L'opera
75002 Paris 02