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Active thermography and image segmentation for skin cancer diagnosis

Grant number: 22/08103-2
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: May 01, 2023 - January 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Biomedical Engineering - Bioengineering
Principal Investigator:Fernando Costa Malheiros
Grantee:Fernando Costa Malheiros
Host Company:Subiter Diagnósticos por Imagem Ltda
CNAE: Testes e análises técnicas
Atividades de serviços de complementação diagnóstica e terapêutica
City: São José dos Campos
Associated researchers:Eduardo Torres Novais ; Jose Jeronimo Rabelo Faria
Associated scholarship(s):23/07050-5 - Active thermography and image segmentation for skin cancer diagnosis., BP.TT
23/07048-0 - Technical training in software development and computer vision., BP.TT
23/07049-7 - Training in scientific data collecting and technical information., BP.TT
23/06054-7 - Active thermography and image segmentation for Skin Cancer diagnosis, BP.PIPE


Temperature as a diagnostic has been used since 400 BC. by the father of medicine, Hippocrates, who said: "In any part of the body, whether there is excess heat or cold, disease exists and is to be discovered." Technological development in the speed, precision and sensitivity of equipment has brought thermography as an auxiliary tool for scientists and health professionals to understand the functioning of the human body and diagnose health patterns and diseases. This work aims to develop a skin cancer diagnosis protocol by active thermography to help health professionals. A literature review is presented, showing that thermography has the potential to diagnose skin cancer. However, there is a great space for the development of image processing methods, for the understanding of the thermal problem involved and, mainly, there is a long way to go in order to establish a diagnostic protocol. The research project has an exploratory and experimental character and is organized into work packages with defined tasks and deadlines, separated into management, strategy and development. Management is related to contracts, purchases, accountability and document organization in general. The strategy is responsible for monitoring the market, relationship with partners, mapping opportunities and potential customers. The development will work on the product making a thermal model to understand the phenomenon, proposing an initial exam protocol, defining the image processing procedures, elaborating the interface between the camera and processing method and testing/evaluating the results in patients. The project includes consulting a dermatologist during the entire period and includes visits to hospitals and research groups to evaluate the proposed procedure. Skin cancer is the cancer with the highest incidence in the human species and affects the whole world. The expected result of the project is the elaboration of a skin cancer diagnosis protocol by thermography, a scalable product that will be under the company's control, since its great value lies in the image processing methodology. Once the method is consolidated, the disease can be diagnosed at an increasingly early stage, leading to a demand for its use, causing savings in treatment resources and, above all, increasing the chances of saving lives. Furthermore, once consolidated, the technology could be extrapolated to other applications such as leprosy diagnosis, which is a public health issue in many countries, including Brazil. (AU)

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