Using Smartphones to Check for Skin Cancer

September 14, 2012
49 Views

A lot of mobile apps are just for fun, but some categories are really useful. The Atlantic has an impressive review of dermatology apps, and I encourage you to read it. These apps have serious potential because they address the shortage and maldistribution of dermatologists, leverage smartphones’ photographic and GPS capabilities, and in some cases make use of advanced algorithms.

A lot of mobile apps are just for fun, but some categories are really useful. The Atlantic has an impressive review of dermatology apps, and I encourage you to read it. These apps have serious potential because they address the shortage and maldistribution of dermatologists, leverage smartphones’ photographic and GPS capabilities, and in some cases make use of advanced algorithms.

One way you can tell that these apps are serious is that all of them have end-user fees associated with them. Most are $4.99 for the apps; others have fees for consultations either in addition to or in lieu of charging for the app.

A typical use case is to keep track of moles, most –but not all of which– are benign. The user takes photos with the smartphone, which are then analyzed by a computer or a real live person (or presumably both in some cases). This makes it easier to have the situation addressed quickly rather than waiting around for an appointment. Some apps allow users to archive their results, which means they can keep track of mole growth over a longer time period. I can even imagine that these apps would be useful in the context of an in-peson doctor visit because the patient can show the doctor what’s happening over time.

This kind of approach should enable connections between US patients and overseas dermatologists, and vice versa. And there are all sorts of possibilities for growth as the technology and data improve. For example, images could be automatically routed to dermatologists who are experts in certain conditions. Quality ratings for doctors could go beyond the usual subjective reviews to include information on how frequently the physician made the right diagnosis. And databases of images could be developed and analyzed.

 


You may be interested

Can Natural Remedies Like RediCalm Decrease Stress and Anxiety?
Wellness
2 views
Wellness
2 views

Can Natural Remedies Like RediCalm Decrease Stress and Anxiety?

Ryan Kh - August 16, 2017

According to research from the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the…

How to Alleviate Stress Related Insomnia
Specialties
400 views
Specialties
400 views

How to Alleviate Stress Related Insomnia

JohnHenning - August 15, 2017

Do you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep every night? You aren't alone. According to multiple studies, including one…

4 Hormones That Play a Critical Role in Your Well being
Wellness
437 views
Wellness
437 views

4 Hormones That Play a Critical Role in Your Well being

Erica - August 15, 2017

Hormonal health and wellbeing have received plenty of attention lately, both from the medical community as well as from health-conscious…