Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combining Dermatologists’ Opinions Improves Diagnostic Accuracy in Skin Cancer

17.11.2015

The accuracy of skin cancer diagnoses can be improved by combining the independent opinions of multiple dermatologists. These findings have emerged from a collaborative study among researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries. The results have been published in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

The study found that combining the opinions of just three independent medical professionals was enough to outperform the best individual decision maker.

The accuracy of diagnoses continued to improve as the number of opinions increased, stabilizing at a group size of around 10. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries investigated how dermatologists’ diagnoses of skin cancer can be improved by using collective intelligence methods, also known as swarm intelligence.

“We studied how social systems in nature — such as swarms of fish — process information and investigated how those insights can be used to improve human decision-making processes,“ says Max Wolf of the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries.

The researchers used two independent data sets in their study. A total of 102 dermatologists and other medical professionals made 16,029 diagnoses of skin lesions, which were presented as high-resolution images on an online platform.

The researchers compared the rates of correct and incorrect diagnoses made by individual decision makers with the results of two collective intelligence rules that combine the independent assessments of multiple raters: the majority rule and the quorum rule.

Whereas the majority rule implies that a diagnosis holds whenever the majority of group members come to the same conclusion, the quorum rule requires a certain number of group members to share the same opinion.

“Using the rules of swarm intelligence can make skin cancer diagnoses more accurate,” says Ralf Kurvers, lead author of the study and researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. The number of misdiagnoses — that is, the number of false positives and false negatives — also decreased.

The study’s authors are aware that this approach implies extra viewing time for physicians, who would have to assess not only the skin lesions of their own patients but also those of their colleagues. But they argue that computer-based support systems enabling the presentation and evaluation of skin lesions via online platforms or tailored software can keep this work manageable.

The relevance of this pioneering approach is underlined by comparable findings from another study recently published by the authors, in which they examined the use of swarm intelligence methods in breast cancer screening. In a next step, the researchers aim to find out how group diversity impacts collective accuracy.


Original Publication
Kurvers, R. H. J. M, Krause, J., Argenziano, G., Zalaudek, I., & Wolf, M. (2015). Detection accuracy of collective intelligence assessments for skin cancer diagnosis. JAMA Dermatology, 151(12), 1–8. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.3149

Max Planck Institute for Human Development
The Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin was founded in 1963. It is an interdisciplinary research institution dedicated to the study of human development and education. The Institute belongs to the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, one of the leading organizations for basic research in Europe.

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.mpib-berlin.mpg.de/en/media/2015/11/combining-dermatologists-opinion...

Nicole Siller | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New 3-D imaging reveals how human cell nucleus organizes DNA and chromatin of its genome
28.07.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period
27.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Abrupt motion sharpens x-ray pulses

Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.

A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D imaging reveals how human cell nucleus organizes DNA and chromatin of its genome

28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heavy metals in water meet their match

28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Oestrogen regulates pathological changes of bones via bone lining cells

28.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>