Results of the 2016 International Skin Imaging Collaboration International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging challenge: Comparison of the accuracy of computer algorithms to dermatologists for the diagnosis of melanoma from dermoscopic images

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Computer vision may aid in melanoma detection.


We sought to compare melanoma diagnostic accuracy of computer algorithms to dermatologists using dermoscopic images.


We conducted a cross-sectional study using 100 randomly selected dermoscopic images (50 melanomas, 44 nevi, and 6 lentigines) from an international computer vision melanoma challenge dataset (n = 379), along with individual algorithm results from 25 teams. We used 5 methods (nonlearned and machine learning) to combine individual automated predictions into “fusion” algorithms. In a companion study, 8 dermatologists classified the lesions in the 100 images as either benign or malignant.


The average sensitivity and specificity of dermatologists in classification was 82% and 59%. At 82% sensitivity, dermatologist specificity was similar to the top challenge algorithm (59% vs. 62%, P = .68) but lower than the best-performing fusion algorithm (59% vs. 76%, P = .02). Receiver operating characteristic area of the top fusion algorithm was greater than the mean receiver operating characteristic area of dermatologists (0.86 vs. 0.71, P = .001).


The dataset lacked the full spectrum of skin lesions encountered in clinical practice, particularly banal lesions. Readers and algorithms were not provided clinical data (eg, age or lesion history/symptoms). Results obtained using our study design cannot be extrapolated to clinical practice.


Deep learning computer vision systems classified melanoma dermoscopy images with accuracy that exceeded some but not all dermatologists.

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