"Our research with Dr. Zouridakis on his promising iPhone app will focus on evaluating its use for risk assessment and as a screening tool for early detection of melanomas," she said. "We are in early stages of planning and approval for this project, but such an application, if validated, has the potential for widespread use to ultimately improve patient care."
Research into other uses of the technology continues. A $412,500 grant from the National Institutes of Health allowed testing of the device's ability to screen for Buruli ulcer, a flesh-eating bacterial disease, in Africa.
A patent has been issued for the software and related technology used to diagnose melanoma, which develops when skin cells become abnormal and multiply, usually because of too much exposure to the sun.
Keith Lancaster, instructional assistant professor in the UH College of Technology, is working on the project with Zouridakis, helping to upgrade the software so it can handle the different diagnostic components.
A longtime professional in the software industry before returning to academia to earn his Ph.D., Lancaster said his work involves "training" the software to allow it to make certain decisions after reading an image.
Zouridakis said the program is "an intersection" of engineering, physics, biology, computer science and medicine.
He received $50,000 in gap funding from the UH Division of Research to upgrade the software, part of a program the division instituted to help faculty inventors make the leap from an initial idea to commercialization.
|Contact: Jeannie Kever|
University of Houston