Computer Vision has already revolutionized other industries. The vision systems that Constellation builds on are much like the ones that proved effective in sending a driverless car coast-to-coast.
Partly because Constellation’s development relies on existing innovations, this potentially life-saving technology can be demonstrated to the market in less than one year.
Concerns over skin cancer have grown exponentially in recent years. Those with increased risk of skin cancer are spending billions annually on dermatologist visits and mole removal, and spending on sunscreen products and SPF clothing continues to climb. Despite the growing awareness and spending, skin cancer rates increase every year.
In 2011, revenues in the U.S. dermatology market climbed to approximately $10 billion.¹
IBISWorld cites high skin cancer rates as a driving force in the $1 billion U.S. sunscreen market.²
In terms of incidence rates, melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates that 76,690 people in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2013.
According to the Pew Research Center, one in three American adults are “online diagnosers,” or have gone online to help determine if they have a medical condition.³ As technology has become more advanced, consumers want to take control over their health. Demand for at-home diagnostic tools has grown, and more and more smartphone apps are promising to alert consumers to possible signs of skin cancer. While these apps are growing in popularity, they are extremely limited in their effectiveness. Constellation is in an entirely different category, providing whole-body scanning, flagging subtle mole changes, and promising to change the future of early skin cancer detection resulting in easier treatment.
1. Source: Dermatologists in the US: Market Research Report.” IBISWorld, Dec 2011.
2. Source: Sunscreen Manufacturing in the US: Market Research Report.” IBISWorld, Nov 2012.
3. Source: Health Online 2013.” Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, January 15, 2013.
When detected early, skin cancer has a cure rate of 99%. But without early detection, survival rates for melanoma plummet. After metastasis, there is virtually no effective treatment for melanoma skin cancer.
Mole changes are the clearest indicators of possible skin cancer. These changes can be subtle and rather rapid, occurring between dermatologist visits. According to the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), the majority of melanomas are found by patients, not by physicians.
Constellation gives patients a powerful new way to perform monthly scans that monitor hundreds of moles, virtually everywhere on the body, and detect even subtle changes.
An affordable price point puts Constellation within reach of a sizeable consumer segment that will welcome a way to conduct quick, monthly scans in the privacy of their homes. Commercial segments also offer diversified revenue opportunities:
In addition, Constellation lends itself to mobile screening programs aimed at underserved, high-risk populations such as agricultural workers.
Constellation leverages existing technology in groundbreaking ways. Leading scientists from MIT and Harvard are among those lending their depth of expertise to this project.
Darrell S. Rigel, MD; Robert J. Friedman, MD; Alfred W. Kopf, MD; David Polsky, MD
Arch Dermatol. 2005;141(8):1032-1034. doi:10.1001/archderm.141.8.1032.
The American Academy of Dermatology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Supplement to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, November 2011.
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Howard K. Koh, MD; Alan C. Geller; Donald R. Miller, ScD; Ted A. Grossbart, PhD; Robert A. Lew, PhD
Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(4):436-443. doi:10.1001/archderm.
Scope A; Dusza SW; Halpern AC; Rabinovitz H; Braun RP; Zalaudek I; Argenziano G; Marghoob AA
Arch Dermatol. 2008 Jan;144(1):58-64. doi: 10.1001/archdermatol.2007.15.
The American Cancer Society estimates that Americans now have a 1-in-50 chance of developing invasive melanoma at some point in their lives. This deadly disease continues to be the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide, despite growing awareness and increased spending on prevention and screening.
Change detection has become the gold standard for the early diagnosis of skin cancer. In 2005, Rigel et al. (see below) recommended that the ABCD paradigm be updated to include E for evolution, citing a number of studies which showed that signs of change could be detected in moles which turned out to be cancerous, even when they did not meet the clinical criteria of Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color variation or Diameter >3mm.
Early detection has an enormous impact on skin cancer prognosis. According to the Melanoma Center, in early-stage melanoma, five-year survival rates exceed 90-95%, but drop to less than 50% in later-stage disease. After metastasis, there is virtually no effective treatment for melanoma.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends monthly, whole-body exams to detect mole changes, and offers a printable “body map” that consumers can use to painstakingly record “each freckle, mole, birthmark, bump, sore, scab,” along with notations on size and color. Constellation completes a whole-body scan in less than 30 seconds, and utilizes proven computer algorithms to flag any mole changes almost instantaneously.
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