Skin cancer is caused by the development of abnormal cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Detection and diagnosis of skin cancer is done by a skilled dermatologist using sophisticated equipment called a dermatoscope.
It’s 2018 and smartphones are claiming to do a lot of things we didn’t expect including detecting earthquakes and hidden spy cameras. You can now use your smartphone to scan suspicious and innocent looking moles and determine whether they might be potentially cancerous.
Skin Vision is an app developed by a team of dermatologists from Romania’s University of Bucharest. It uses a similar concept to the one used in dermatoscopy in the hospital. The app is not meant to replace your dermatologist; it’s just meant to raise awareness.
How It Works:
With Skin Vision, you’ll take a high quality photo of that strange mole on your skin. Then the app uses a technique called fractal geometry. This technique was used by the developers of Skin Vision to develop an algorithm that analyzes the mole in the picture you upload. It looks for patterns in the outlines and dimensions of a mole that make it more likely to be malignant.
Potentially cancerous moles have a jagged irregular outline. The app is able to detect this especially when you take a high quality photo of the mole in good light. Potentially harmful moles also have multiple shades of color which will also be picked up by the app.
Skin Vision will indicate to you whether you should have the mole examined by a doctor. It classes it as high, medium or low risk.
A study in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology in 2015 found that Skin Vision correctly diagnosed 73% of cancerous moles in a sample of 195. Dermatologists correctly diagnosed 88% of the same sample. And the app can only get better with time.
While the app should not replace your doctor, it should help you detect potentially dangerous moles on your skin early enough. Cancer is best treated in its early stages.
The Skin Vision app is available both in the iOS and Android app store.