05 July 2019
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Q. Can you recommend any skin cancer screening apps I could recommend to my patients?

'Skinvision' is a good app to recommend to patients who are worried about moles. The app involves uploading a decent photograph of the mole with a smartphone. In about 30-seconds the app will grade the mole as either low, moderate or high risk. The app uses machine learning technology to grade the mole. A dermatologist triages any high-risk moles,and if the patient wants to, and for a modest fee, all moles can be professionally triaged.

A very useful component of the app is that it will send reminders to have moles re-photographed and checked,picking up changing moles. According to the company,recent data shows that its service has a sensitivity of 97%and a specificity of 78%, well above that of a GP (sensitivity 60%), a dermatologist (sensitivity 75%) and even a specialist dermatologist (sensitivity 92%).

It can be difficult to photograph small moles, particularly those on hairy skin. Though the app is very useful as a diagnostic aid in assessing moles, it should not be recommended to patients as a diagnostic-specific tool.

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