A new iPhone application developed at the University of Michigan Health System helps users monitor changes in their skin over time as a self-screening for cancer.
In doctor’s offices, whole-body photography is used to track patients at risk for melanoma.
“However, it requires a professional photographer, is not always covered by insurance, and can be an inconvenience,” said Dr. Michael Sabel, lead physician in the development of the app and an associate professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School.
“Now that many people have digital cameras on their phones, it’s more feasible to do this at home,” Sabel said in a statement.
The app instructs users to take a series of 23 photos of different parts of their body from head to toe. Photos are stored within the app, which then sends out automated reminders to repeat the self-exam on a regular basis.
Should the mole or skin lesion change or grow, the user would then be able to share them with a dermatologist.
The app also includes a function for users to calculate their individual risk of skin cancer.