CAMBRIDGE, MA—Draper and 3Derm announced today a collaboration under which the companies will create new automated capabilities for 3Derm’s high-quality skin imaging systems with the aim of improving the management of chronic inflammatory skin disease, such as psoriasis and eczema.
3Derm, a skin imaging and diagnostics company, currently offers cost-effective, skin imaging systems for teledermatology triage and clinical research. 3Derm’s platform is used by medical assistants at health systems to capture high-quality 2D and 3D skin images for remote review and triage by board-certified dermatologists.
Using their standardized skin imaging system, 3Derm has developed several novel machine learning applications, including an automated quality detector to improve the diagnostic quality of images captured for remote consults and algorithms to automate the diagnosis of common skin lesions. Now, in collaboration with Draper, they are building an automated skin disease management tool that can identify the severity of an inflammatory disease and potential treatment options. This new technology will guide users through taking specific images of their skin condition and estimate the condition’s severity at a level of accuracy not currently available in primary care or home settings.
“While AI has been used for medical imaging for decades, the use for dermatological applications is relatively novel,” said Troy Lau, Group Leader in Machine Intelligence at Draper.
There is a well-documented shortage of dermatologists in the U.S. and worldwide. By utilizing advanced diagnostic and chronic disease management tools deployed outside of the dermatology office, patients can receive efficient, convenient care with fewer office visits and specialists can free up appointments for their most critical patients.
“3Derm offers tools that expand the reach of dermatological care beyond the exam room for conditions ranging from moles to rashes to acne,” said Kelsey Gross, Director of Product Operations at 3Derm Systems, Inc. and principal investigator of the NSF grant. “Our team has been working on developing novel machine learning products across skin conditions, such as pigmented lesions. This exciting collaboration with Draper on inflammatory skin disease will provide us with additional expertise in machine learning and technological refinement, broadening our reach from acute triage cases to chronic skin conditions.”
An interdisciplinary team at Draper is leading the technology development with 3Derm under Sembler, Draper’s office for engaging with startups. Sembler provides mentorships, technology partnerships, access to Draper’s facilities, and opportunities to collaborate on Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) projects.
“Teledermatology is a vital tool with clear benefits for primary care doctors, dermatologists and patients, but widespread adoption has not been as rapid as expected,” said Alla Gimbel, Sembler Program Manager at Draper. “3Derm has the vision and technology roadmap to change that, with contributions from Draper and with the support of the NSF.”
Funding for development of this technology is provided by a National Science Foundation under award number 1843221.