International Skin Imaging Collaboration

January 2017December 2020

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and Australia is regarded as the “skin cancer capital of the world.” In 2016, an estimated 13,280 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in Australia, and 1,770 people will die from this disease (AIHW 2016).

There is considerable potential for digital imaging to improve the diagnosis and management of melanoma. This potential is being driven by a number of factors such advanced imaging techniques (e.g. total body photography, dermoscopy, reflectance confocal microscopy, and optical coherence tomography), and artificial intelligence.  However, the lack of standards is commonly regarded as an impediment to the adoption of digital imaging in dermatology.

The International Skin Imaging Collaboration: Melanoma Project is an international academia and industry partnership designed to develop and promote standards for digital skin imaging to help reduce melanoma mortality. The University of Queensland’s Centre for Online Health and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City have entered into a collaborative research agreement with an aim to develop dermatologic specific extension to the digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) standard. DICOM is an established medical imaging standard that is widely used by most medical imaging specialities (apart from dermatology). DICOM standardises a metadata model, a digital imaging file format, protocols for the electronic transmission of images across a data network, and workflow services. Workflow services are used to improve the efficiency, scalability and accuracy of an imaging network.

Project members

Associate Professor Liam Caffery

Principal Research Fellow
Centre for Health Services Research