Click here to watch the PHC Digital Supercluster video series showcasing the Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Network project.

Did you know that one in six Canadians will develop some sort of skin cancer during their lifetime? Each year in Canada, there are 80,000 reported cases of skin cancer, also known as melanoma. The annual cost of skin cancer to the healthcare system is more than $500 million — with advanced cases of skin cancer costing over $160,000 per patient to treat.

Canada is also facing a severe shortage of dermatologists leading to wait times of six months or more for an appointment. Melanoma can rapidly progress in as little as six weeks and patient survival declines from 98 per cent to 15 per cent if treatment is delayed.

Now, imagine being able to quickly diagnose deadly skin cancer by taking a photo. This is what the Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Network does — it provides early detection of skin cancer, improving the chances of survival. By using artificial intelligence-powered medical imaging that incorporates dermatology and pathology data and images, patients can get diagnosed in days – rather than months – anywhere in Canada.

The new cloud-based Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Network uses MetaOptima’s tele-dermatology and Change Healthcare’s tele-pathology imaging, augmented by artificial intelligence (AI). The project offers the possibility to speed up urgent cases through e-referral and e-triage, as well as train AI models on real-life clinical data to create algorithms for clinical decision support and medical education.

As part of the Supercluster initiative’s technology leadership cycle, the Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Network is connecting all points of care for patients who may be dealing with skin cancer. The project is rolling out in phases across B.C., with intent to expand coverage to other parts of Canada and the world, particularly those with increased solar exposure and higher incidences of skin cancer.

The project is being led by Change Healthcare in partnership with PHC, MetaOptima, Careteam, University of Victoria, UBC and BC Cancer.

Providence Health Care is pleased to be a founding member of the Canada Digital Technology Supercluster. Supported by the St. Paul’s Foundation, we’re working with private and public industry partners to help make BC a global hub for digital technology innovation through investing in solutions in diverse industries and sectors, including health care. We aspire to become the “go-to” place to prototype new ideas, incubate novel concepts, and test creative theories. This is one of our main focus areas under our Learning-Forward strategic direction.

  • To learn more about the Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Network, click here.
  • Stay tuned as we feature more videos showcasing PHC’s Digital Supercluster projects in the coming weeks!

Have an idea like the Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Network, please contact or with your contact info and an intake form will be sent for you to complete.