July 26, 2011

Skin Cancer? There’s an App For That!

Even if you no longer spend hours in the sun, lathered in baby oil, with a tin foil necktie, the risk of obtaining the most dangerous kind of skin cancer-melanoma-is very real every time you so much as walk out into a sunny day without a snow suit on. While conventional methods of prevention are available (um, sunblock?) a molecular diagnostic company, Health Discovery Corporation, has engineered an app to help you better detect and keep track of problematic moles on your body.

To use the app you use the camera on your iPhone to take a picture of your freckle or mole, making sure to use the zoom option so it fills the green box on the screen. After you have snapped the picture, it is uploaded and compared against a licensed data base from Johns Hopkins University Medical Center. If you run a significant risk the app will let you know you need to be seen by a professional.

In addition to helping detect melanoma in its early stages, you can also store images so you can properly track changes in the mole or freckle in question. Indicators are used to measure information such as color, size, and rate of development.

MelApp is available in the iTunes store for $1.99. An Android version is said to be in the works. Seems to be a small price to pay, and a valuable addition to your sunblocks and snow suits.

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