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IBM aims to help diagnose skin cancer

Electro-Optical Sciences, a medical device maker, is testing a handheld gadget that can help doctors detect skin cancer, using a little help from IBM. The handheld, called MelaFind, works by capturing an image of a potentially cancerous skin lesion on a patient. During processing, the image is compared with a database of 20,000 high-resolution images of other lesions. The database is located in IBM's Deep Computing On Demand center. The comparison process, which takes about a minute, helps doctors determine if a patient has skin cancer, IBM said.

While the MelaFind device is still in trials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, IBM said its abilities are one example of how companies can tap into on-demand computing services such as the Deep Computing center. The center, located in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., allows companies to rent time on an IBM supercomputer.