Mobile apps to detect the skin cancers !!
Skin cancer is one of the major cancers which are diagnosed in big number in recent years. The early diagnosis can help in preventing the cancer spread to whole of the body.
There are few smart phone applications which are available that can help in early diagnosis and tracking of the regular self examinations.All you can do is to capture a photo of the marks or mole and track them yourself or send them to you skin doctor. Though these applications are very useful , there are few limitations for these.
For early detection of the skin cancer you have to know the difference between the simple mole and the malignant skin disease which can some times resemble a mole.
Few facts about the skin cancer:
Every year about 4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancers are detected in the US and it is said that 200,000 people will receive a melanoma diagnosis in 2019.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. This cancer forms from the cells called melanocytes which are responsible for skin pigmentation. This cancer is an aggressive form and accounts of major deaths associated with cancer.
Symptoms of all types of skin cancers include:
- Change in the size or color of a mole or other spot on the skin
- The spread of pigmentation outside the border of a mole
- Odd skin sensations, such as persistent itchiness or tenderness
- New growth on the skin
The causes of the skin cancers are many of which include the genetic predisposition, usage of toxic substances like lots of chemicals containing cosmetics, etc.
Mole checking applications for detection of skin cancer:
There are various applications in your smartphone that can help in the detection of skin cancer. Some send photos to a dermatologist, some provide instant feedback and others offer helpful reminders about self-checking your skin and scheduling a doctor’s appointment.
Miiskin is a mole mapping application to analyze your skin. as your dermatologists would perform mole maps as part of a clinical full-body skin exam, using this digital dermoscopy (magnified digital photography) can help in catching suspicious lesions. This application can capture the high definition dermoscopy photos and provide information more than that of the normal digital photos. According to the website, anyone with an iPhone with iOS 10 and newer or a phone running Android 4.4 and newer can use Miiskin. This Skin Mapping feature provides automatic identification for suspicious moles.
This application was developed by the researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) school of medicine. This helps you to do full-body skin cancer self-exam, as well as create and track a history of moles, growths, and lesions.
This app has various features of step by step guide and examinations with graphics and written instructions along with a melanoma risk calculator.
UMSkinCheck also sends push reminders to encourage people to follow-up on their self-exams and check on the lesions or moles they are tracking. You can decide how often you want to see those reminders in the app.
Like Miiskin, MoleScope has similar features of taking the magnified images to help people determine whether they should consult the dermatologist to get their skin checked.
MoleScope is a device that can be attached to your smartphone and can send photos to the dermatologist for an online checkup as well.
MoleScope analyzes photos of your moles and categories the features of your skin findings into ABCD:
- Asymmetry: the shape of one half doesn’t match the other
- Border: edges are bumpy, ragged or blurred
- Color: uneven shades of brown, black and tan; odd colors such as red or blue
- Diameter: a change in size greater than 6 mm
Thereby helping in analyzing the skin cancer risk.
SkinVision helps in early detection of melanoma. The app uses deep learning to analyze photos of your skin and aid in the early detection of skin cancer. The photos are processed through a technology called convolutional neural network (CNN), which filters image layers based on patterns. SkinVision uses it to check small areas of your skin and come back with a high- or low-risk assessment of that area in less than a minute.
SkinVision is backed by a scientific board of dermatologists, but Dr. Daniel Friedmann, a dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Austin, Texas, that even an app with prominent support of scientists has limitations.
“I would not recommend that patients avoid these apps, but I would approach their results with cautious skepticism,” Dr. Friedmann said, “and counsel patients that suspicious lesions are best-evaluated in-office.”
The mole scope
Researchers have tested the accuracy of these apps by analyzing nearly about 200 photos of skin lesions that the app had previously analyzed. They found that SkinVision was 81% accurate in detecting melanoma, with 73% sensitivity and 83% specificity, compared to the 88% sensitivity and 97% specificity seen in clinical exams.
There are few smartphone applications which are available that can help in early diagnosis and tracking of the regular self-examinations regarding the skin cancers. All you can do is to capture a photo of the marks or mole and track them yourself or send them to you skin doctor, along with various other features that help in diagnosing the skin cancer. Though these applications are very useful, there are few limitations for these.
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