Nathaniel Joseph Bacon, Michael Brendon Basenback, Rachel Catherine Panko, Thiago Giovanni Perez, Ethan Andrew Selkirk, Andrew Michael Shoemaker, Griffin Chase Sullivan


Presentation: 9:00-10:15, Kennedy Union Ballroom



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In a world full of blossoming technological advances, medical care remains one of the costliest services. Thus, all who seek diagnosis and treatment of an illness typically must have effective health insurance or carry a large debt. With these systems so deeply entrenched, our team seeks to push technological boundaries to find an economical solution to help diagnose common medical conditions. One condition we decided to focus on is melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can be deadly if not detected early. Since a biopsy of the skin is the only way to be sure a patient has cancer, medical procedures for suspected skin cancer are often prolonged, costly, and painful. To make matters worse, these expensive treatments are often not available for patients in low-income communities, many of whom may be uninsured. This socioeconomic disparity can often lead to certain groups of people not receiving the care they deserve. Our research team of engineering and physics students is committed to designing and building a low-cost, portable device that shines light onto the skin and analyzes combinations of different colors (wavelengths) of that light to determine if a patient has melanoma. After the creation of this device, our team wants to prioritize its distribution and use in free clinics and impoverished areas. It is there where many are unable to afford the early diagnosis and thorough treatment of skin cancer that they deserve. Furthermore, we hope that the device's mobility will allow melanoma detection to more effectively reach places like military bases and rural areas with minimal healthcare technology. Our device may be small but we believe that its capabilities to serve those in need can be extensive.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Robert H. Wilson

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals

Community; Diversity; Scholarship

Using Different Wavelengths of Light to Develop a Simple, Low-Cost Tool for Equitable Melanoma Diagnosis in Low-Resource Settings