Automated decision support in melanocytic lesion management.
PLoS One. 2018;13(9):e0203459
Authors: Gilmore SJ
An automated melanocytic lesion image-analysis algorithm is described that aims to reproduce the decision-making of a dermatologist. The utility of the algorithm lies in its ability to identify lesions requiring excision from lesions not requiring excision. Using only wavelet coefficients as features, and testing three different machine learning algorithms, a cohort of 250 images of pigmented lesions is classified based on expert dermatologists’ recommendations of either excision (165 images) or no excision (85 images). It is shown that the best algorithm utilises the Shannon4 wavelet coupled to the support vector machine, where the latter is used as the classifier. In this case the algorithm, utilising only 22 othogonal features, achieves a 10-fold cross validation sensitivity and specificity of 0.96 and 0.87, resulting in a diagnostic-odds ratio of 261. The advantages of this method over diagnostic algorithms-which make a melanoma/no melanoma decision-are twofold: first, by reproducing the decision-making of a dermatologist, the average number of lesions excised per melanoma among practioners in general can be reduced without compromising the detection of melanoma; and second, the intractable problem of clinically differentiating between many atypical dysplastic naevi and melanoma is avoided. Since many atypical naevi that require excision on clinical grounds will not be melanoma, the algorithm-in contrast to diagnostic algorithms-can aim for perfect specificities without clinical concerns, thus lowering the excision rate of non-melanoma. Finally, the algorithm has been implemented as a smart phone application to investigate its utility in clinical practice and to streamline the assimilation of hitherto unseen tested images into the training set.
PMID: 30192804 [PubMed – in process]