IBM Outthink Melanoma


IBM have partnered with MoleMap and Melanoma Institute Australia to undertake research to advance the identification of Melanoma using sophisticated technology (IBM Watson). This leverages massive computer power to analyse images of patient’s skin and biometric data, similar to how a human would. The difference being that this analysis can be achieved much more quickly and accurately.

IBM challenged GPJ to create a 2-day event at Bondi Beach to offer beach goers free skin assessments and skin checks while accumulating important data to advance crucial Melanoma research.


GPJ secured the iconic Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club over a busy sunny summer’s weekend and transformed it into an inviting, educational and fun skin check and assessment facility to both identify skin conditions, capture data for future research and raise awareness to the 40,000 Bondi beach goes per day.


Beach-goers, surfers, life savers and even Sunday nippers attended over the 2 days. Hundreds of people talked with IBM Watson through a smart mirror extracting key information like their age range, gender and even if they were wearing sunscreen.

This data was then combined with weather information to determine the person’s risk of sunburn with the UV rating at the time of day. The de-identified data gathered from the assessments and checks will contribute to IBM research in association with Melanoma Institute Australia and Molemap to teach Watson to detect melanoma.

This research may one day help doctors more easily detect far more melanomas before they reach critical stages, and potentially save hundreds of lives and healthcare spend every year.

“We agree and support the drive by IBM in developing an automated diagnostic system for skin cancers, in particular for Melanoma. Such systems are a welcome advance, and are very likely to save lives. Melanoma is our most dangerous skin cancer, and will kill nearly 1,800 Australians this year.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Doctor or IBM’s Watson – if a patient doesn’t get checked – a diagnosis of Melanoma can’t be made in time”.
Dr John Donnellan, Skin Cancer Specialist

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