Science & Technology

Afraid Of Pancreatic Cancer? Click A Selfie!

News World India | 0
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| September 19 , 2017 , 14:52 IST

Many cases were reported from all over the world of people getting harmed while clicking selfies from unlikely places. The government also issued various messages while warning people regarding the same.

Though, another application which researchers are working on urges you to click selfies. Not just for the sake of it but to detect Pancreatic cancer. You read that right, Researchers from the University of Washington are currently working on an application called BiliScreen, which would be able to detect the signs of cancer from your selfie.

A series of the algorithm will check for the level of bilirubin in one's blood by analysing the white area of the person's eyes. It is reportedly difficult to detect pancreatic cancer at the early stage and the application will help in the diagnosis of the disease at the premature stage along with detecting illnesses such as jaundice or hepatitis.

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Pancreatic cancer being one of worst among its fellow diseases has only 3 percent survival rate past five years, is hardly detected before a tumour spreads till unmanageable level. In a study of 70 patients, BiliScreen was able to detect over 89.7 percent cases.

Irrespective of skin colour, the eyeshade of the person gives away the signs of pancreatic cancer. Though, the yellowish discolouration if visible, clearly implies that the person is in a later stage of the disease.

Shwetak Patel, lead author of the study said, "The eyes are a really interesting gateway into the body - tears can tell you how much glucose you have, sclera can tell you how much bilirubin is in your blood." He added, "Our question was: Could we capture some of these changes that might lead to earlier detection with a selfie?"

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Using the built-in camera of smartphones, BiliScreen captures a person's eye image and isolates the white part of the eyes with the computer vision system developed by the researchers. Based on the wavelength of light, the application further calculates the colour information based on the sclera.

Jim Taylor, a professor in the department of paediatrics at the university’s medical school said, "Pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease with no effective screening right now. Our goal is to have more people who are unfortunate enough to get pancreatic cancer to be fortunate enough to catch it in time to have surgery that gives them a better chance of survival."

The application was presented in a paper on September 13 at Ubicomp 2017, the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Coulter Foundation, and endowment funds from the Washington Research Foundation.