The Cancer Detecting Camera

Developers in Finland have introduced a camera that could detect skin cancer.  The innovation could revolutionise the medical industry in the field of early cancer treatment.

cancer detecting camera

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Jyväskylä have collaborated in the development of a cancer detecting camera. The white and black handheld device, which looks somewhat like a space gun from the first season of Star Trek uses hyperspectral imaging, a technology previously used in mining and crime scene investigations, to detect lesions which are invisible to the naked eye and undetectable using conventional technology.


The camera is undergoing trials at hospitals throughout Finland, however it may take up to ten years for the camera to be licensed commercially. The initial results are positive and doctors are confident that using the device will become standard medical practice in the future.


After scanning with this new invention, a doctor uses a conventional digital camera with a zoom lens to take photos and provide a more complete picture of the affected area. Early detection allows for quicker treatment, and a reduction of the possibility of a tumour growing back.


The invention gives us hope, that with developing technology, ordinary people will one day be able to detect skin cancer using smart phones. There is an existing app for detecting skin cancer on moles. A user can take a photo of a suspicious-looking mole; the app then scans it and matches it to images in its database. “Doctor Mole” the Skin Cancer App is available for purchase on the Android, App Store and Microsoft platforms.


This is a step towards increasing our longevity. With the early and simple detection of diseases, treatment will be more effective. It is only two years since Lee Cronin stated that 3D printing technology will allow us to print our own medicines in the future, eliminating the need for pharmacies. In the future we could be able to accurately self-diagnose and self-medicate using the right devices and software.


Perhaps this is a flashing red light to traditional medical practitioners and pharmacists whose jobs may be at risk, and who will need to adapt with new developments. Doctors may end up fitting into one of two groups ,that being either researchers or machine operators. However this gives way to the independence of ordinary citizens, whose health will be in their own hands.

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