A new technology uses artificial intelligence to detect cancer early.

Developed by researchers in Canada, it can sift through thousands of ‘images of skin lesions’ and pick out those which show signs of melanoma, a skin cancer that can be treated if identified early enough. The technology, which uses machine learning to analyse the pictures, could reduce the need for costly biopsies.

“This could be a very powerful tool for skin cancer clinical decision support. The more interpretable information there is, the better the decisions are,” said Alexander Wong, a professor of systems design engineering at the University of Waterloo.

The team, which also included researchers from Ontario’s Sunnybrook Research Institute, said the tech could be available to doctors next year.