Digital Image Analysis for Diagnosis of Skin Tumors
Between 1987 and 2007, different groups developed digital image analysis systems for the diagnosis of benign and malignant skin tumors. As the result of significant differences in the technical devices, the number, the nature and benign/malignant ratio of included skin tumors, different variables and statistical methods any comparison of these different systems and their results is difficult. For the use and comparison of the diagnostic performance of different digital image analysis systems in the future, some principle basic conditions are required: All used systems should have a standardized recording system and calibration. First, melanocytic and nonmelanocytic lesions should be included for the development of the diagnostic algorithms. Critical analyses of the results should answer the question if in future only melanocytic lesions should be analyzed or all pigmented and nonpigmented lesions. This will also lead to the answer if only dermatologists or all specialities of medical doctors will use such a system. All artifacts (eg, hairs, air bubbles) should be removed. The number of variables should be chosen according to the number of included melanomas. A high number of benign skin lesions should be included. Of all lesions only 10% or better less should be invasive melanomas. Each system should be developed by a training-set and controlled by an independent test-set. Each system should be controlled by the user with the final decision and responsibility and tested by independent users without any conflict of financial interest.