Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Potential Exists

People like to share photos. 
The challenge becomes getting the right context (age/gender/associated symptoms), the right label (diagnosis), the right amount of accuracy and pixel clarity to any uploaded image.

Online Databases - the purpose of the the sites compiled here seem to be mainly informational/educational. Dermnet, Dermatlas from Hopkins, and DermIS seem to me more aimed at at educating medical professionals. Visualdx is one product of the company Logical Images. Their images can only be accessed through their apps.

- Private entity. A for-profit owned by parent company Logical Images. Sells online and app program to doctors/nurse/medical practitioners to help increase accuracy of diagnosis by provided images of common skin conditions.
- Containing "25,898 unique images"

- Founded in 1998 by Thomas Habif, MD. The "largest independent photo dermatology source dedicated to online medical education though articles, photos and video."
- Per the site, "more than 23,000 images, Dermnet.com contains the largest number of dermatology images online"

Dermatlas from Johns Hopkins
- Founded by Dermatologist from Johns Hopkins, the "purpose of this WWW site is to enable health care professionals, parents, and patients to access high quality dermatology images for teaching purposes"
- Images submitted by and large from healthcare professionals 
- Contains, "13,052 images from 628 contributors"

DermIS a collaboration between University of Heidelberg and University of Erlangen
- Claiming to be the, "the largest dermatology information service available on the internet." but without reported numbers on their site that I was able to fine.

Several other sites which do not report where they images were obtained from nor how many images are in the collection are include: Skin Cancer and Benign Tumor Image Atlas from Loyola University and Dermatologic Image Database from University of Iowa

Seems like the a robust database currently contains between 10,000 - 20,000 mark. 
By Comparison:

Flickr reports to have 6 billion uploaded images.
searching for images tagged "skin" on Flickr yields --  307,554 uploads

Searching for "eczema" on Google Images results in -- 3,850,000 results

With regards to capacity for pictures, this post speaks to the large volume of images on the internet, reporting 140 billion photos hosted on Facebook.