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Phone Apps May Delay Skin Cancer

19th May 2013

If you've recently spotted an unusual looking mole and it's making you anxious then you'll want a quick diagnosis to put your worrying mind at ease. Unfortunately, appointments with GP's are becoming increasingly difficult to attain and the weeks of waiting can be torturous if you're already anxious.

This is where the new phone apps that can instantly diagnose your mole can save the long periods of worry. However, it should be noted that this isn't a safe replacement for a medical diagnosis and there have been arguments for the accuracy of the app.

App Inaccuracy

When Doctors and medical professionals looked at the accuracy of the app they found there were several problems. Most importantly, three of the apps wrongly labelled several cancerous growths as unproblematic in almost a third of cases. These three apps analysed the pictures using automated algorithms, without the involvement of any doctors or qualified professionals. Professor Laura Ferris who lead research into the study expressed her concerns saying, "If they see a concerning lesion but the Smartphone app incorrectly judges it to be benign, they may not follow up with a physician" [Source]. This is clearly a big concern as it totally defeats the purpose of the app.

Always Check with a Professional

With something as serious as mole diagnosis and the risk implicated if you receive inaccurate advice, we recommend always seeing a medical professional or expert dermatologist. There are so many apps out there claiming to make our lives easier, just last year two application developers were fined for making unsubstantiated claims that their software could treat acne using a coloured light from a Smartphone. So if you're worried about moles on your skin and are considering mole removal, don't risk your safety and have a consultation by a medical expert here at sk:n.

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