AI and Diagnosing Skin Cancer

Todd Berner
2 min readOct 5, 2021

Skin cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer simply because it often goes undetected for so long. However, if it is caught early, it is highly treatable as this type of cancer tends to be slow-growing and often responds to treatment well. Fortunately, artificial intelligence may start to emerge as a helpful tool for diagnosing skin cancer. Here’s more information about how it can be used in the future to help both physicians and patients.

Ways It Can Be Used

Before a physician can study x-rays to determine whether or not there are any abnormalities, he must go through a lot of training. Unfortunately, there may not always be someone with enough training available to study these types of images, and this can delay a diagnosis. AI can change all of this. Computers can scan x-ray images, and they can make an assessment as to whether or not they find an abnormality. They may be able to catch things even a physician would miss. Physicians can become distracted or fatigued, and this can lead to them giving a patient an incorrect diagnosis. Computers also may be able to scan images a lot quicker than a physician can.

The Likelihood of AI Being Widely Used In The Future

While there does seem to be a lot of excitement surrounding and the potential of it being able to diagnose things like skin cancer, there still needs to be more research done. Many individuals feel that it’s better to have a human component involved in diagnosing certain medical conditions. Even if a computer identifies an abnormality on an x-ray, a physician would still have to review the results to make sure that they were accurate. Unfortunately, computers do have error rates, and this could influence their findings as well.

AI will never be able to completely replace a diagnosis from a doctor, but it can be an important part of the diagnosis process. Despite the fact that there are still some studies that need to be done on the accuracy of AI, it may end up being a helpful tool that many physicians use in the future to diagnose skin cancer as well as other types of conditions.

Originally published at on October 5, 2021.



Todd Berner

Todd Berner is a pharmaceutical expert with a focus on improving outcomes through patient advocacy, particularly when it comes to rare diseases.