The startup that classifies skin conditions with a single photo

The startup that classifies skin conditions with a single photo
  • Piction Health started out as a mobile app that used artificial intelligence to recognize melanoma from images.
  • Over time, however, Conover realized that other skin conditions make up the vast majority of cases seen by doctors and dermatologists.
  • Today, Conover and his co-founder, Pranav Kuber, focus on helping clinicians identify and manage the most common skin conditions, including rashes like eczema, acne, and shingles.

Piction Health began as a mobile application that used artificial intelligence to recognize melanoma from images. Over time, however, Conover realized that other skin conditions they make up the vast majority of cases seen by doctors and dermatologists.

Today, Conover and his co-founder, Pranav Kuber, focus on helping doctors identify and manage the most common skin conditionsincluding rashes like eczema, acne, and shingles, and plan to partner with a company to help diagnose skin cancers in the future.

“All of these other conditions are the ones that are often referred to dermatology, and dermatologists get frustrated because they prefer to spend time on skin cancers or other conditions that need their help,” says Conover. “We realized we needed to move away from skin cancer to help skin cancer patients see a dermatologist faster.”

How does PictionHealth work?

After the doctors of primary care take a picture of a patient’s skin condition, the Piction Health app shows images of similar presentations of the footl. Piction Health also helps clinicians differentiate between the conditions they most suspect to make better patient care decisions.

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Conover says that Piction can reduce the time it takes for doctors to evaluate a case by about 30 percent. It can also help doctors refer a patient to a dermatologist more quickly for special cases where they are not confident in handling.

More broadly, Conover is focused on helping healthcare organizations reduce costs related to unnecessary additional visits, ineffective prescriptions, and unnecessary referrals.

So far, more than 50 doctors have used Piction’s product, and the company has established partnerships with various organizationsincluding a well-known advocacy organization that recently had two employees diagnosed with late-stage melanoma after they couldn’t see a dermatologist right away.

“A lot of people don’t realize that it’s really hard to see a dermatologist, it can take three to six months, and with the pandemic there’s never been a worse time to try to see a dermatologist,” says Conover.

Piction will release several additional pilots this year

Piction will release several additional pilots this year. Later, Conover wants to add capabilities to identify and assess wounds and infectious diseases that are more common in other parts of the world, such as leprosy. By partnering with nonprofit groups, the company also hopes to bring its solution to physicians in low resource settings .

“This has the potential to become a full diagnostic tool in the future,” says Conover. “I just don’t want anyone to feel the way I felt when I was first diagnosed, and I want others like me to be able to get the care they need at the right time and move on with their lives.”

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