iPhone Skin Cancer App
A recent article came up revealing that there is a new iPhone skin cancer app that analyzes your moles. It seems that you can take photos over time and the program will tell you if the pattern is changing or if it is growing. As a dermatologist it would be easy and expected for me to bash such a product, but there are a few things I like about it. First, it does bring attention to the characteristics of moles that people need to watch for when looking for skin cancer such as change in color, size and pattern. Second, this app means that people are interested in and care about checking their skin which I am thrilled about. Lastly, with the average wait to see a dermatologist in most metropolitan areas being longer than 45 days this app does give the patient a way to take serial pictures of the mole in question.
A word of caution, I would be remiss if I did not say a few things on the other side. For many years the most brilliant minds have been trying to find a computer program to help find melanoma earlier, they have had little success. These machines have millions of dollars invested in them and have been for the most part a disappointment. The company itself says that the product is for “informational purposes only” so please take this and all products like it with caution. If you have a mole or lesion that you are concerned about please make an appointment with your local dermatologist, but if you would like to take a few pictures of your mole to show me, by all means I would be interested to see. It may even help!