The best apps are the ones capable of saving lives. And this new one from researchers at the University of Michigan Health System enables users to screen themselves for skin cancer using just the cameras in their phones.
The app is called UMSkinCheck, and it walks users through a step-by-step process that guides them through taking a series of 23 photos that capture images of their entire body. The photos not only detect suspicious lesions upon the first inspection, but they also serve as a reference point for future inspections to monitor changes over time.
Michael Sabel, M.D., the lead physician involved with creating the app, explains the reason this app is so important:
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.
In addition to analyzing photo data, the app also features a risk calculator that allows users to input personal information about their lifestyles and family history in order to determine if they’re at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
The app is currently available for iPhone and iPad and is completely free!