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AAD: Concerns Noted Relating to Use of AI Dermatology Apps

None of the apps are approved by the FDA; only two include disclaimers for lack of regulatory approval

By Elana Gotkine (HealthDay News) | March 08, 2024

FRIDAY, March 8, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- There are notable concerns relating to the use of currently available artificial intelligence (AI) dermatology mobile applications (apps), according to a study published online March 7 in JAMA Dermatology to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, held from March 8 to 10 in San Diego.

Shannon Wongvibulsin, M.D., Ph.D., from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a scoping review to identify and characterize current English-language AI dermatology mobile apps available for download. 

A total of 909 apps were identified initially; after removal of duplicates, 391 apps remained. A further 350 apps were excluded on subsequent review, yielding 41 apps available for detailed analysis. The researchers identified several concerning aspects relating to AI apps in dermatology. None of the apps were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; disclaimers for lack of regulatory approval were included in only two apps. The apps lacked supporting evidence, input from clinicians and/or dermatologists, and transparency in terms of development of algorithms, data usage, and user privacy. 

"The use of these apps has risks associated with a lack of consistent validation and transparent user communication," the authors write. "These findings are important to increase awareness of the current limitations and the need to further develop methods for creation of AI dermatology apps with effective regulation, validation, and standardized evaluation criteria." 

One author disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical and dermatology industries and has a related patent pending. 

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