Proprietary systems for dermoscopy images analysis are available to improve the diagnosis and follow-up of the pigmented skin lesions. Their performance seems comparable with that of a human expert. Progress in computer-aided classification of melanocytic lesions depends notably on judicious choices of the algorithms dedicated to the extraction of signs from the dermoscopy images and of the method which combines these signs to classes the lesions.
To allow the researcher’s community to benefit from their large set of elementary algorithms already available for dermoscopy, we set up a system accessible through the Internet which:
- allows the engineers to register their algorithms while preserving their secrecy: their programs run on their own server;
- lets a user to define its own sequence of image analysis and to apply it to its images: the system automatically calls the appropriate remote programs;
- makes possible and stimulates the synergy of worldwide researchers in order to validate algorithms of images analysis best suited to achieve the correct diagnosis and to track the malignant melanoma;
- makes these techniques available to the greatest number of users through the Web and thus to support a mass screening;
- reduces the maintenance of the system to the minimum: it requires users only an Internet browser and engineers to follow a simple widespread standardised interface for distributed programs.
Various problems should be addressed:
- the lack of standardisation of images acquisition: algorithms based on relative colours are best suited to this system;
- the copyrights on images and algorithms;
- charging the use of remote computer resources.
This system allows for an international collaborative work in the fight against the malignant melanoma by offering a conceptual and technical platform of teledermoscopy. It is intended to support synergy between the engineers and the users implied in the diagnosis and teaching of dermoscopy.