A new smartphone app has been launched for the UK market that can detect warning signs of skin cancer and offer its users a remote professional diagnosis within 24 hours.
Mole Detect Pro securely stores photos of moles and uses an advanced algorithm to grade the likelihood of a potential melanoma, based on the ‘ABCDE method’ of detection. If you visit a dermatologist, they will often mention this acronym and ask you to track symptoms at home. It stands for: Asymmetry (irregular shape), Border (ragged, notched or blurred), Colour (more than one in a single mole) Diameter (larger than 6mm), Evolution (changing size, shape or colour).
The new app, which has attracted the interest of leading UK dermatologist Dr John Ashworth, has been developed by the same US scientists behind the award-winning ‘Eye Netra’ instant smartphone eye test. A beta version, known as Mole Detective, has been available in the US for two years and already helped its users – including many health professionals – detect melanoma. The team behind Mole Detect are now working on a version of the app that will be capable of scanning for ‘Ugly Ducking’ moles from videos that users upload straight from their smartphones. These moles, that tend to be different in appearance to others surrounding them, are treated as the most suspicious by dermatologists.
Dr Ashworth commented: “The technology behind this app is pretty impressive and the net result is that a lot more people with a potential problem will end up going on to seek a professional diagnosis. Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in the UK, and tragically it often affects young adults. Self-detection is critical and potentially lifesaving. This tool facilitates that assessment through technology and encourages dermatology appointments so that more cases of melanoma can be detected early. It’s a fantastic step forward for consumers and for health workers alike.”
Mole Detect Pro costs $4.99 (£3.16) to download. For more information, visit moledetect.com.