Something like 90 percent of melanomas--the most serious kind of skin cancer--are visible to the naked eye, no MRI, CT scan, or other kind of sophisticated scanning or imaging necessary. So why bother getting screened at a clinic? The University of Michigan has created an iPhone app that allows you to inspect yourself for skin cancer. All you have to do is take 23 nude pictures of yourself with your smartphone.
That, of course, is something we've largely been advised not to do, but no bother. UMSkinCheck's creators think they can help trim health care costs by helping users perform a task that really doesn't require a doctor, especially for those who are at low risk for skin cancer and are otherwise asymptomatic. To that end, the app offers a risk-assessment quiz, examples of what a troubling skin feature looks like for comparison, and periodic reminders to look yourself over for any signs of cancer.
It's basically a way to create a whole-body photographic record of your skin periodically so you can see if certain skin features are changing or growing worse over time. And if they are, well, it's time to ditch the DIY diagnosis and go see the doctor. If it keeps asymptomatic people out of the doctor's office each and every time they see something slightly troubling it could save money in the long run. Of course, there's a certain barrier to entry here, that being the 23 pictures. If you want to monitor yourself using UMSkinCheck, be aware: these aren't photos you can take yourself.
"If you want to monitor yourself using UMSkinCheck, be aware: these aren’t photos you can take"
No problem. I am sure there are many aspiring college students that will take these pictures for you... right in their dorm room... with a free breast exam.
and what are the chances that the person taking the pictures won't hit: Share -> Facebook?
or the photos are left in the cell phone.. and one day you are showing the pics you took of your dog to a whole lot of people?
Then you jump off a bridge because of this life long shame.. just because you wanted to save some money by skipping the doctor..
anyways, we know what will happen down the road.. people will skip doctor visits and the software says they are good, while they actually do have cancer.. then they sue the company.
but overall.. it's a great idea ;)
this is a good step toward knowing about melanoma but let me share something with everyone that will read this. our daughter had the melanoma skin cancer and had it romoved, was given a clean bill of helath. she got her regular checkups like she needed to. 7 years later during one of her pregnancy she developed a lump on her breast. yes it was the melanoma that came back inside her. problem was it was to late for her and after having the baby and going through alot of different treatments she did not make it. it has beed a year and a half and the hurt and pain of her passing will never go away. my word of causion to all who have the skin cancer do yourself a favor and have a catscan insist on it. that is the only way you will know if it has spread inside of you. this is the most aggressive and deadly form of cancer there is
The article is having fun with this, but actually this is a very useful app. You don't need to be naked. The pictures are password-protected, stored within the app and not in the library, so they aren't visible to anyone unless the user emails them (for example to their dermatologist). The app does not diagnose whether a lesion is cancer or not, but rather stores a library of what the skin looks like so that when doing a self exam (which it reminds you to do) you can compare newly discovered lesions to these stored photos. Early diagnosis is the key to survival in melanoma. For many years we have recommended people do self skin exams, this free app just gives you the tools to do it correctly.
This is a great idea for an app and I can see how many people could use this tool to document suspect spots and keep up to date on bodily changes. It also has the added benifet of giving starlets an excuse when their phone gets "hacked" and their pictures are released online. "I was just checking for cancer." Of course this does nothing to explain any text included on those pictures, just ask Olivia Munn.