The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be 2 million new diagnoses of skin cancer in the U.S. alone this year, including nearly 80,000 cases of melanoma. Besides the obvious practice of routine checkups, those known to be a bit more preemptive have taken to whole body photography as a means to spot cancerous activity before it’s too late.
An iPhone app called UMSkinCheck is meant to be an easy way to check for skin cancer without the need of a trained professional. All you need to do is have someone use your iPhone to take 23 pictures of yourself completely nude.
The app’s developers from The University of Michigan explain:
A skin cancer self exam is used to identify suspicious moles or lesions that may be cancer or growths that may develop into skin cancer (precancers). Individuals who are at a high risk of skin cancer are encouraged to perform frequent skin self exams and to have full body photographic surveys taken by professional photographers. Using UMSkinCheck, patients will be able to complete a full skin cancer self exam and photo survey, track and create a history of moles and lesions and receive regular reminders to perform follow up self exams and check on lesions that are being tracked.
After you take the initial 23 nude photographs, the app complies the pics on your iPhone to establish a diagram of your body for future photo comparisons (yes, you’ll have to take the pictures again and again). A risk calculator determines the likelihood that you have cancer, and the diagrams of your body are meant to show subtle changes in your skin and potentially cancerous cells. You are obviously encouraged to see a physician if you see anything questionable.
While Apple did put a great camera in the iPhone 4S, how many people are willing to put something as life-threatening as cancer in the hands of an app and 8-megapixel smartphone camera?
- Via The Atlantic