Speclipse, Inc.: Propelling Innovation in Skin Cancer Detection
Sung Hyun Pyun, CEO
"Statistically, one in five people in the U.S. and two in three people in Australia are diagnosed with skin cancer through their lifetime,” begins Sung Hyun Pyun, Founder and CEO, Speclipse. While the current scenario demands effective cancer detection solutions, the visual diagnostic methods available today examine tissue samples with tools like magnifying glasses and dermascope. These visual based methods often deliver conflicting reports about the skin disease, heavily depending on skill level of dermatologist or examiners. Even pathological skin biopsy, a current gold standard for skin cancer diagnosis, might exhibit different result if multiple pathologists observe the same tissue sample to certain extent. Another challenge that patients experience is the unnecessary waiting time of a day to several days before the biopsy report is delivered. Enter Speclipse, Inc., a company headed by three alumni of Stanford University. They have architected a state-of-the-art skin cancer diagnostic device based on laser spectroscopy and deep learning algorithms.
The real-time, non-invasive, in-vivo skin cancer detection device, Spectra-Scope®, incorporates a real-time assessment feature and eliminates waiting time for patients. Since the diagnostics can be performed right in the dermatologists’ clinic, the process can be completed in a matter of few minutes. What makes the product shine in the market is its capability to generate reports by just analyzing the chemical composition of the skin cells rather than using subjective visual based assessment, resulting in high detection accuracy and non-biased outcome by examiner’s skill level. Spectra-Scope® uses commercially available aesthetic laser, which is widely commercialized for various skin treatments, safely to diagnose the skin disease.
Catering to a wide range of skin clinics who currently conduct skin check-up or/and skin biopsy, typically operated by dermatologist, general practitioners, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, Speclipse has innovated two models— add-on Spectra-Scope® and stand-alone Spectra-Scope®.
Spectra-Scope® will be simply a game changer for skin cancer diagnosis at an office setting
While add-on Spectra-Scope® is desgined to be mounted on existing commercially avaiable athesthetic laser equipment, the stand-alone model, consisting of a laser and an analysis module in a single unit, caters to the needs of clinics who currently have no aesthetic laser equipment and can be setup in a small area because it is portable, flexible, and cost-effective.
To further mitigate the medical errors due to subjective interpretation, Speclipse’s machine learning-powered device has been designed by taking more than 6000 spectral data of skin lesions. By leveraging machine learning to train neural networks, Speclipse makes the device much more accurate compared to manually-driven diagnostic methods. This also makes the Spectra-Scope®’s accuracy practically indifferent with the skin cancer biopsy with higher than 90 percent accuracy while requiring no biopsy sample actually taken and no waiting of several days for the biopsy result.
“Even though our technology provides higher accuracy in contrast with the pathological skin biopsy, we rather position our technology as a complement to the biopsy initially by reducing disgnostic procedure time, making data less subjective and improving detection accuracy over visual methods at the office setting,” says Sungwoo Min, COO, Speclipse. “ThroughW fast screening with Spectra-Scope® any user regardless experience level can quickly pick one or two biopsy samples to achieve better medical outcome. Spectra- ScopeW will be simply a game changer for skin cancer diagnosis at an office setting with the comparable accuracy to the current gold standard, the skin cancer biopsy.”
So far, Speclipse has received approval for 12 patents and is now targeting for CE marking and TGA approvals, which indicate conformity with health and environmental protection. Extending the global footprint, the firm soon plans to penetrate in the European and Australian market. Climbing the ladder of success, Speclipse is also focused on expanding the scope of AI-enabled laser-induced spectroscopy to other types of cancers and other diagnostic applications as well.
Description Speclipse was founded by three Stanford University graduates and a dermatologist in November 2015, and currently has offices in Silicon Valley, California and South Korea. Diagnostic tools presently used by physicians such as dermascopes or confocal microscopes, provide 60-70% accuracy, far below that of Spectra-Scope®. Speclipse’s core diagnostic technology is available in two models. Spectra-Scope® is an “add-on module” which can be attached to existing aesthetic lasers at dermatology or primary care clinics to provide instant skin cancer diagnosis. The second diagnostic model offered is a “stand-alone” system which can be used without any additional equipment or accessories. It can be used by medical or cosmetic clinics who do not have existing laser equipment, or who prefer a small, portable stand-alone device for real-time diagnosis
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