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Diagnosis of Skin Disease in Moderately to Highly Pigmented Skin by Artificial Intelligence

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posted on 2023-06-28, 03:49 authored by Justine SchneiderJustine Schneider, Adam mamelak, Izhaar Tejani, Tory Jarmain, Ronald Moy

Background: Triage of patients with skin diseases often includes an initial assessment by a nurse or general practitioner, followed by a dermatologist. Artificial intelligence (AI) systems have been reported to improve clinician ability to diagnose and triage skin conditions. Previous studies have also shown that diagnosis in patients with skin of color can be more challenging.

Purpose: This study seeks to determine the performance of AI in the screening and triage of benign-neoplastic, malignant-neoplastic, and non-neoplastic skin conditions for Fitzpatrick IV-VI skin types.

Methods: A set of 163 non-standardized clinical photographs of skin disease manifestations from patients with Fitzpatrick IV-VI skin types were obtained through a publicly available dataset (Scale AI and MIT Research Lab, “Fitzpatrick 17 Dataset”). All photos were diagnosed by a specialist and categorized into three disease classes: benign-neoplastic, malignant-neoplastic, or non-neoplastic. There were 23, 14, and 122 cases of each disease class, respectively. 

Results: Overall, the AI was able to classify the disease classes with a high degree of accuracy for the Top 1 diagnosis (86.50%). Based on its first prediction, the AI demonstrated the greatest accuracy when classifying non-neoplastic conditions (90.98%), high accuracy of detecting malignant-neoplastic conditions (77.78%), and moderate accuracy of classifying benign-neoplastic conditions (69.57%). 

Conclusion: The AI had an overall accuracy of 86.50% in diagnosing skin disease in Fitzpatrick IV-VI skin types. This is an improvement over reported clinician diagnostic accuracy of 44.3% in darker skin types. Incorporating AI into front-line screening of skin conditions could thereby assist in patient triage and shorten the time to accurate diagnosis. 


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ORCID of Submitting Author


Submitting Author's Institution

Ohio State University College of Medicine; Moy-Fincher-Chipps Facial Plastics & Dermatology

Submitting Author's Country

  • United States of America