Mobile  Health App that  screen you for skin cancer

Mobile Health App that screen you for skin cancer

By Ayo Bamgboye (AHIN):

It seems there is no limit to the use mobile technology in empowering patients to take control of their health.  University of Michigan has developed an app called UMSkinCheck   is a free app designed for iPhone and iPad that can be used to screen skin cancer.  It has risk calculator that will help you determine your individual risk. If you have any concern at all, it guides you through taking a series of 23 photos that cover your entire body to develop a baseline for future photo comparisons.

Michael Sabel, lead physician in app development and associate professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School, said in a school news release that the process of diagnosis is made simple for patients  using the app. Before, "Whole body photography is a well-established resource for following patients at risk for melanoma. However, it requires a professional photographer, is not always covered by insurance, and can be an inconvenience. Now that many people have digital cameras on their phones, it's more feasible to do this at home"

Skin self-exam is recommended for everyone in order to detect skin cancer at the earliest stages, when treatment is less invasive and more successful. If you have fair skin or burn easily, have had sunburns in the past or used tanning beds, or have a family history of melanoma, you are considered high-risk, and so it's even more important said Sabel.

 

This is good news for over 5 million people across the globe. Most especially, people that are diagnosed with melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Apps like UMSkinCheck will enable people to have regular skin checks at the corner of their homes. The apps will create a reminder to repeat a skin self-exam on a regular basis. If a mole appears to be changing or growing, the photos can then be shared with a dermatologist to help determine whether a biopsy is necessary.

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In addition, this could be of great advantage for less developed countries to carry out test with minimal cost. Mobile phones are becoming increasing popular in Africa , apps like  UMSkinCheck could be key factor in improving patient healthcare

 

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