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iPhone App Aids Early Detection of Melanoma

By August 17, 2011

Got a suspicious-looking mole that you're concerned about? There's an app for that. MelApp for iPhone lets you take a picture of your lesion using your smartphone's camera and analyzes it for risk of melanoma. The app could help you to detect melanoma in its earliest stages, when it is most easily cured.

After uploading your image, you'll be asked to answer two simple questions about your lesion or mole. Then the app uses "image-based pattern recognition technology" (which has been validated using a database of images licensed by Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, according to the app's creator, Health Discovery Corporation) to give you an estimated risk of melanoma. The program also allows you to store your pictures and collect them in albums by date, enabling you to review your suspicious moles or lesions for changes that occur over time. Users that receive a "high" risk of melanoma are directed to a nearby physician for follow-up using the smartphone's GPS technology.

While the app is certainly not intended to diagnose melanoma or to replace regular evaluations by your physician, at the very least it may help you to keep better track of your moles between check-ups. And for only $1.99, if it helps get you to the doctor more regularly, then it will be worth it's salt.

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