Point-of-care, multispectral, smartphone-based dermascopes for dermal lesion screening and erythema monitoring

Ross D. Uthoff, Bofan Song, Melody Maarouf, Vivian Shi, Rongguang Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Significance: The rates of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer are rising across the globe. Due to a shortage of board-certified dermatologists, the burden of dermal lesion screening and erythema monitoring has fallen to primary care physicians (PCPs). An adjunctive device for lesion screening and erythema monitoring would be beneficial because PCPs are not typically extensively trained in dermatological care. Aim: We aim to examine the feasibility of using a smartphone-camera-based dermascope and a USB-camera-based dermascope utilizing polarized white-light imaging (PWLI) and polarized multispectral imaging (PMSI) to map dermal chromophores and erythema. Approach: Two dermascopes integrating LED-based PWLI and PMSI with both a smartphone-based camera and a USB-connected camera were developed to capture images of dermal lesions and erythema. Image processing algorithms were implemented to provide chromophore concentrations and redness measures. Results: PWLI images were successfully converted to an alternate colorspace for erythema measures, and the spectral bandwidth of the PMSI LED illumination was sufficient for mapping of deoxyhemoglobin, oxyhemoglobin, and melanin chromophores. Both types of dermascopes were able to achieve similar relative concentration results. Conclusion: Chromophore mapping and erythema monitoring are feasible with PWLI and PMSI using LED illumination and smartphone-based cameras. These systems can provide a simpler, more portable geometry and reduce device costs compared with interference-filter-based or spectrometer-based clinical-grade systems. Future research should include a rigorous clinical trial to collect longitudinal data and a large enough dataset to train and implement a machine learning-based image classifier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number066004
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • dermatoscopy
  • dermoscopy
  • mHealth
  • multispectral imaging
  • smartphone imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


Dive into the research topics of 'Point-of-care, multispectral, smartphone-based dermascopes for dermal lesion screening and erythema monitoring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this