This week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast we look at the MoleScope. It’s an attachable microscope for an iPhone that offers a solution for people concerned about potential skin cancer lesions. The MoleScope is a company that is a spinoff from Simon Fraser University in Canada.
The device works with the phone and a downloaded app to document moles and other skin lesions or growths so that patients and their doctors can see if they change or grow over time, a sign that they may be cancerous. They have released the first version of the device for early adopters in the dermatology field so that they can try it out with their patients who have already had documented cases of skin cancer. This puts them at greater risk for future skin cancer lesions making them perfect candidates for this device.
Research has shown that devices like this one can improve cancer diagnosis accuracy by about 25%. In the U.S. more than 73,000 cases of Melanoma skin cancer will be diagnosed this year. Nearly 10,000 of these patients will die from the disease. This rate of diagnosis is increasing year after year for the last 30 years. Early recognition and diagnosis is key to surviving skin cancer and the MoleScope is a potentially important tool to add to a dermatologist’s bag of tricks to help their patients.
Patients can use the device themselves in their homes. MoleScope’s skin screening app will guide the patient through a self-examination and image analysis of their mole helping them find warning signs of skin cancer. Then the patient can send a secure image of the mole to their healthcare professional via the internet and set up a time for a professional consultation. I really love these mobile device apps that put more power in the hands of patients giving them the tools they need to more effectively communicate with their doctors and nurses. I’ll keep looking for more of them and bring them to you here on Health Tech Weekly so stay tuned to the podcast.
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