University of Michigan delivers Skin Cancer Mobile AppJuly 24th, 2012 | Posted by in Cancer | Prevention | Skin Cancer | Technology
The University of Michigan has just released a new mobile application designed to help users identify the first signs of skin cancer. The app called UMSkinCheck allows users to take photographs of suspicious moles or lesions, basically guiding them through a skin self-exam. What is even more useful is the ability to monitor the progress of a particular mole/lesion by observing the differences in various photographs and being able to compare those images with those of various types of skin cancers.
Michael Sabel, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School, the lead physician involved in developing the app said, “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 cancer is more prevalent than ever with more than 2 million Americans diagnosed with it each year. Melanoma cases, the most lethal form of skin cancer, now number around 50,000. Many of these cases could have been diagnosed even earlier with self checks like those provided by this the UM SkinCheck app.
Basically, the apps presents user with a gallery of 23 photos which encompass the body, head to toe. Photos are saved within the app for later retrieval and comparison. The app will even let users set a reminder to prompt them to perform another self-exam.
If one of the images reveals changes or abnormal growth, then that particular photo or set of photos can be shared with a dermatologist to aid in determining whether a biopsy is required.
Dr. Sabel concludes, “We recommend skin self-exams 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.”
UMSkinCheck on iTunes - Link