Several phone applications claim to be able to judge whether a skin lesion is cancerous. New research suggests they are incorrect in more than 30 per cent of incidents.
These applications allow the user to take a photo of a skin lesion and compare the changes over time. The user will receive recommendations if any unusual changes occur, or if the application judges the lesion having traits of being cancerous when compared against its database of skin cancer images.
Dangerous cases of melanoma were incorrectly identified as safe in over 30 per cent of all incidents examined in a study performed by the University of Pittsburgh.
Interviewed by The Age, Terry Slevwin from the Cancer Council of Western Australia warned the public against using these types of applications and advised that relying solely upon an app is potentially.
While I agree with Mr Slevwin that relying solely upon the recommendation of an application is dangerous and that you should ALWAYS consult a doctor, I do see the benefit in taking immediate action with these types of applications, which could identify a skin lesion and save lives.
As a final thought, are you due to have your skin lesions checked by your doctor?
For those interested in the skin cancer applications, I have listed a few below.
Know Your Own Skin – Price: Free
Doctor Mole – Price: $4.95
Skin Scan – Price: $4.95