A new app developed at the University of Michigan Health System can help patients create a photographic baseline of their skin and photograph suspicious moles or other skin lesions.
The app also walks users through a skin self-exam and generates automatic reminders telling them to monitor changes over time. It also and provides pictures of various types of skin cancers for comparisons. The app is designed for iPhone and iPad and is available to download on iTunes.
The app guides users through a series of 23 photos, which can be stored within the app and serve as a baseline for future comparisons. If a mole appears to be changing or growing, the photos can then be shared with a dermatologist to help determine whether a biopsy is necessary. The app includes a risk calculator that allows you to input your personal data to calculate your individual risk.
“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,” says Michael Sabel, MD, associate professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School, in a press release. He was the lead physician involved in developing the app.