Now anyone can screen themselves for melanoma in their own homes.
Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System has developed an app that allows users to screen for skin cancer by using their mobile phones. The app, UMSkinCheck, provides a step-by-step guide where the user has to take a series of 23 photos from different parts of the body. These photos provide a baseline for future comparisons where the user can monitor changes to a skin lesion over time.
Michael Sabel, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School, was the lead physician involved in developing the app. He explained that:
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.
The app also includes a risk calculator that allows users to input their personal data and calculate if they’re at risk of developing skin cancer. The UMSkinCheck app is compatible with the iPhone and iPad, and is available for free on the iTunes store.