Philippe Held

Philippe Held is CEO & Founder of DermoSafe, a startup based in Switzerland. DermoSafe is active in the field of E-health and provides to the healthcare system an integrated solution and services supporting skin cancer screening by connected dermoscopy.

Philippe has an engineering and managerial background with broad experiences in various fields such as RFID. Only recently he entered into the field of healthcare after being granted the Axa Innovation Award 2012. He has no medical background and that’s probably the reason why he can think outside the box, being creative and thinking about disruptive methods in this very conservative field of healthcare.

Artificial intelligence technology can help to meet rising demand for early detection of melanoma. Skin cancer and melanoma (the most severe type of skin cancer) are becoming a social health issue. The incidence has been rising. Currently, between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year. Experts agree that early detection is essential and can save lives. One third of those diagnosed are below 50 at the time of diagnosis. There is still no medical cure, but recently some new treatments have emerged that can help to extend life for few years. Those new treatments for advanced melanoma come at a cost, but, if detected at an early stage and removed by excision, the cost is more than 100 times less. Early detection starts with population awareness – people should always consult their doctor if they are in any doubt about a mole. However, the trouble is that early-stage melanoma can easily be confused with benign moles, and 90% of the population has at least one mole. With cases on the rise, the number of dermatologists will soon be insufficient to cope with the increased workload. New ideas are sorely needed. Wanted: innovative solutions I ask often myself why around 30% of melanoma are still detected at an advance stage? Why are there so many benign lesions excised – about 20 to 30 times more than the number of malignant lesions? Why is it so difficult for general practitioners, who are very often acting as a first point of contact, to do an efficient skin exam? I believe that with new technologies and e-health, which allow us to set up new processes and bring innovative healthcare services to clinics, solutions can be found to overcome those issues. When dermatologists began using dermoscopy...