Worried about what the summer sun is doing to your skin? This skin cancer-detecting smart phone app may be able to help.
Confession: I’m bad about protecting my epidermis from the sun. Even though I know all of the scary statistics and correlations between sun exposure and skin cancer, I often find myself outdoors without a hat or sunscreen. Which is all fine and good until something weird pops up.
If you’ve ever found a mole or strange patch of skin, it probably only took a single Google search for your mind to think skin cancer. Now, a new smart phone app called SkinVision makes it possible to do some analysis on your own before shelling out for an expensive visit to the dermatologist.
The smart phone app, which was recently nominated for an Index Award in the body category, allows users to analyze their skin lesions by taking a picture on their smartphone. “SkinVision technology uses a proprietary mathematical algorithm to calculate the fractal dimension of skin lesions and surrounding skin tissue and builds a structural map that reveals the different growth patterns of the tissues involved,” explains the app’s website. “By processing this map, SkinVision is able to see if the mole has an abnormal development and to alert the user if a medical visit is required.”
Any dermatologist will tell you that moles or lesions must be actively monitored. While most moles are harmless, the sudden appearance of a mole, or change in a mole’s color or shape can indicate risk for skin cancer. Prevention through behavior change and early detection are key to reducing this risk, both things that are enabled by SkinVision.
The app is available for both Android and iOS, and comes in a free and paid version. The free version provides educational material on skin cancer or skin conditions, as well as UV information based on a user’s location, so it’s easier to know when your skin needs to be protected. Only with the paid version of SkinVision can users have their moles analyzed via a smartphone photo.
Still, $2.99 seems a small price to pay for the chance to catch skin cancer before it starts.