Skip to main content

California Health System Uses 3D Imaging to Track Skin Cancer

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   June 01, 2023

Hoag is the first West Coast health system to use the technology, which produces a full-body 3D avatar of a patient within minutes and allows doctors to identify, measure, and track suspect lesions.

A southern California health system is offering whole-body 3D scans to patients at high risk of developing skin cancer.

Hoag, a Newport Beach-based health system consisting of two hospitals, 15 urgent care facilities, and 10 health and wellness centers, is reportedly the first West Coast provider to offer the VECTRA WB360, a walk-through machine that uses 92 separate cameras to capture a patient's entire skin surface. The system generates a 3D avatar of a patient and maps out all moles and legions.

The process takes about eight minutes, officials say, whereas traditional imaging methods would take up to 90 minutes.

Designed specifically for dermatology, the platform includes software that allows clinicians to tag, measure, and track lesions, organize the images in a secure and accessible image management system, and allow for better monitoring over time.

“In sunny Southern California, melanoma remains a prevalent problem, and nothing is more powerful than prevention or early detection,” Burton Eisenberg, MD, FACS, executive medical director of the Hoag Family Cancer Institute and the institute's Grace E. Hoag Medical Director Endowed Chair, said in a press release. “With this advanced noninvasive technology, our physicians will be able to detect changes in high-risk patients at the earliest possible stage.”

“This highly innovative imaging system will allow our dermatologists to monitor suspicious lesions and track changes over time,” added Steven Q. Wang., MD, Hoag’s program director of dermatologic oncology. “More importantly, this powerful tool can help dermatologists detect skin cancer at the earliest stage, while avoiding unnecessary skin biopsies."

The imaging technology was developed by Canfield Scientific, a global firm with headquarters in New Jersey, and was piloted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the University of Queensland in Australia. It's now being used by roughly 13 health systems in the US, along with about two dozen in Europe, two in China, and a handful in Australia.

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.


Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer and can occur on any part of the body.

Hoag, a health system based in southern California, is now offering patients access to technology that creates a whole-body, 3D avatar within minutes.

Doctors can use the avatar and accompanying technology to identify, measure, and track moles and legions that may indicate cancer.

Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.