A Cambridge UK startup whose technology helps people monitor early signs of skin cancer through their mobile, tablet or online is set for rollout in the UK and Australasia early next year.Skin Analytics, which has just become the 100th member at the ideaSpace Accelerator in Cambridge, is developing a cloud-based service that optimises its cutting edge software.
The five strong team has teamed up with brains from the University of Cambridge – Professor William Fitzgerald and Dr Elena Punskaya – to develop the software, which helps detect and monitor suspicious changes on the human skin.
The Skin Analytics service allows the user to make use of their smartphone or digital camera to take photos of their skin. These images are automatically analysed to identify unique characteristics by applying cutting-edge mathematical techniques.
Once baseline images are captured, users are helped to submit additional images of each mole after an appropriate period. Skin Analytics will automatically warn the user of any changes detected, which could potentially be the early signs of skin cancer.
The service is not meant to be a definitive diagnostic but rather an early warning monitoring system that will highlight the need to seek medical advice at the appropriate time.
A significant challenge Skin Analytics has to overcome is to enable images taken under different lighting conditions and from different angles, to be compared. Working on the University of Cambridge, West Cambridge site has enabled Skin Analytics to access leading image processing researchers to develop these algorithms.
Skin Analytics is funded by private investors and also by a significant UK government innovation grant. Its is due to be launched early 2013 in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Neil Daly, director of Skin Analytics, said: “ideaSpace has been great to us since we started working here. The flexibility of the services offered and the network we were able to access have been critical in getting us where we are today.
“Through the ideaSpace team or the 99 other members, we have been able to find quality help across a variety of areas such as IP, medical device regulation and legal support.”
ideaSpace was only founded in June 2010, with the support from Hauser-Raspe Foundation and the East of England Development Agency. It was set up to foster a culture and environment to support early stage ventures with potential global impact in Cambridge and the wider enterprise community. Membership numbers have steadily grown from a diverse range of industries.