Published on Mon Sep 28 2020

AI Progress in Skin Lesion Analysis

Philippe M. Burlina, William Paul, Phil A. Mathew, Neil J. Joshi, Alison W. Rebman, John N. Aucott

We examine progress in the use of AI for detecting skin lesions. We discuss the problems of AI bias regarding the lack of skin images in dark skinnedindividuals. We report skin analysis algorithms that gracefully degrade and still perform well.

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Abstract

We examine progress in the use of AI for detecting skin lesions, with particular emphasis on the erythema migrans rash of acute Lyme disease, and other lesions, such as those from conditions like herpes zoster (shingles), tinea corporis, erythema multiforme, cellulitis, insect bites, or tick bites. We discuss important challenges for these applications, in particular the problems of AI bias regarding the lack of skin images in dark skinned individuals, being able to accurately detect, delineate, and segment lesions or regions of interest compared to normal skin in images, and low shot learning (addressing classification with a paucity of training images). Solving these problems ranges from being highly desirable requirements -- e.g. for delineation, which may be useful to disambiguate between similar types of lesions, and perform improved diagnostics -- or required, as is the case for AI de-biasing, to allow for the deployment of fair AI techniques in the clinic for skin lesion analysis. For the problem of low shot learning in particular, we report skin analysis algorithms that gracefully degrade and still perform well at low shots, when compared to baseline algorithms: when using a little as 10 training exemplars per class, the baseline DL algorithm performance significantly degrades, with accuracy of 56.41%, close to chance, whereas the best performing low shot algorithm yields an accuracy of 85.26%.