URO KI Project

This is an innovative project being developed by a team of urologists and dermatologists from Austria and Germany.
The aim is to develop a mobile phone application that uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to grade penile skin lesions into risk groups for benign (non-cancerous) conditions and potential penile cancer, in an effort to improve the timely diagnosis of penile cancer.

A diagnosis of penile cancer can be delayed by men being too embarrassed to seek medical advice and the lack of awareness of the disease. In addition many primary health care professionals such as GPs, may not have encountered penile cancer before. Many initial symptoms of penile cancer can mimic non-cancerous diseases such as balanitis (inflammation of the penis), candida (thrush) or STIs and may be treated with repeat courses of topical treatment (cream/ointments), or inappropriate referral to sexual health clinics or dermatologists further delaying a diagnosis.

The app will take photos of the lesion, analyse them and provide a risk rating. This assessment will indicate if the area is of low, medium, or high risk for penile cancer. If a lesion is classified as “high risk”, the application would recommend that men seek a medical consultation for further evaluation.

It could also be used by healthcare professionals such as GPs, to identify potential penile cancer at an earlier stage and refer men to a urologist.

To carry this project forward in the developmental stages, Orchid has helped to facilitate a focus group consisting of men who have been affected by penile cancer to ensure that the project would be safe, effective and practical.

As part of this project the team are trying to find out whether patients who have been affected by penile cancer would have felt confident in using a mobile phone application. A survey has been created to gather views and can be accessed here

For more information please email robert.cornes@orchid-cancer.org.uk