Skin cancer phone apps

There has been a spate of new iphone apps designed to help with skin cancer diagnosis. Here is a list of a few with some reviews below. I have also come across a few that assist in determining UV radiation exposure at the location of the iphone. Let us know of any other useful skin cancer related iphone apps.


  1. Skinscan
  2. Lovemyskin
  3. Skin prevention
  4. Skin of mine


Can you diagnose cancer with an app? Skin Scan aims to find out

  • PRICE: $4.99
  • TASTY: If a mole can be analyzed, the app uses an algorithm to classify a mole’s risk level.
  • BUMMER: The app requires precision images, so you’ll probably have to snap a few before the images will analyze — if they do at all.
  • COOL: Save scanned images for later comparison.

If you hate going to the doctor, you’ll be thrilled to hear that app developer Skin Scan wants to help you replace that initial visit to the dermatologist. The Romania-based company behind Skin Scan: Your Pocket Scan Technology for Skin Cancer Prevention was recently awarded €50,000 from Seedmoney to continue work on its algorithm-based diagnostic app. For my money — the sale price of $4.99, for now — I’m still skeptical of relying on an app as a serious medical instrument, but if your alternative is not seeing a doctor at all, the app could be a worthy investment if you’re worried about a mole.

Using your iPhone’s camera — the app claims to support all iDevices, but I can’t imagine a camera of lesser quality than iPhone 4’s working — Skin Scan will analyze an image of a mole to determine its risk level. The trickiest part of Skin Scan is taking the photo. The app requires precise images, well-lit and free of hair or other interferences. Scanning takes a bit of time, and you won’t know if your image is acceptable until the process is complete. When taking the photo, it’s imperative you hold your iPhone steady and that you tap the screen to focus on the intended area. Getting the proper positioning probably will take some practice, and if you have a friend nearby, you’d do well to ask for help since holding the phone yourself might create a shadow. After you’ve snapped the photo, you’ll need to center and zoom in on the mole in the red box. Then you’ll be ready to scan.

If your image is readable, Skin Scan will calculate the mole’s fractals to estimate if it’s developing abnormally. Using what is already known about melanomas, the app will determine the mole’s risk level and if a doctor’s visit is necessary. One of my tests came back with a medium risk result (meaning I should keep an eye on it), which is when the archiving feature comes in handy. Skin Scan will save your analyzed images for future reference, giving you the ability to track a mole’s development. If anything, this is the app’s most-useful feature. Again, this is all dependent on successfully taking a scan-able photo — and yes, it is that difficult.

Of course, Skin Scan can’t replace good old-fashioned medicine, and its results should not be taken as infallible. Skin Scan is an app to watch, though, and is perhaps ushering in a new wave of usefulness when it comes to iDevices.


Adventure app:

With the arrival of summer comes more days spent kayaking on the water and exploring new hiking trails all while heightening your risk of developing skin cancer, thanks to the sun’s dangerous UV rays.

It’s often not enough to just use sunscreen; you have to be vigilant about checking your body for any possible cancerous moles or bumps. Luckily, there’s now an app for that. With the mobile app, users can take a picture of any worrisome skin condition including psoriasis, acne, sunburns and bug bites and upload it instantly for an automatic analysis.

The site does this by comparing your photo mathematically to another of its kind and comparing the differences. This feature of the app is great if you’re not sure you should make an actual trip to the doctor’s office yet. It’s an easy and not to mention free way to get quick medical advice.

If you want your photo looked at by a medical professional, you’ll have to pay $40 to $60 and wait about 24 hours. However, given that average wait time for a dermatologist appointment is about three months, waiting one day can hardly be seen as a downside.

This app is also a great way to get affordable medical advice if you don’t have health insurance and can’t afford to visit an actual dermatologist. Whether you need a quick consultation or advice from an actual doctor, is a great tool to keep yourself health and skin cancer-free this summer.

The Skinofmine iPhone app can be downloaded from for $2.99.


LoveMySkin presents four views of the body and allows you to add markings that you want to keep track of.  Zoom in and around a detailed rendering of the human anatomy (that explains the 17+ rating, unfortunately).  Tap a spot to add a mole marking. You can edit the details of each mole and keep notes on growth or changes.  A built-in guide makes comparing benign moles to malignant moles easier, though nothing replaces the opinion of a professional.  The idea is to get familiar with your body so that you know what’s normal and abnormal for you.  Skin cancer is a deadly disease, but awareness and a proactive attitude can make all the difference in early detection.


You can toggle between a male and female body, and any moles you’ve added to each one are saved (so, a male and female could share a copy of the app).


Single tap: add a new mole
Double tap: toggle highlight overlay
Two-finger tap: revert to normal zoom levels
Pinching: zooms in and out
Skin of Mine

This involves an online submission of a photo with a fee paid for a consultation by a deramtologist

  1. #1 by Ian McColl on July 7, 2011 - 7:39 am

    These deserve a close look Ian. The comparison tool for change might be useful. So many things to play with and so little time! I have had a telemedicine store and forward site sitting there for 10 years and then the government prescribe video conferencing!! I might just give patients the opportunity to upload images themselves.
    Best wishes
    Ian McColl

  2. #2 by Dr Ian Katz on July 10, 2011 - 12:00 am

    A Melanoma Smart Phone App, really

    Written by
    • Health News
    DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – These days, you can find smart phone “apps” that promise to do just about everything. Now, there’s one that says it can help determine your risk for melanoma.
    The new apps claim to turn your smart phone into a medical imaging device. But is it really smart to trust your phone with something as serious as skin cancer?
    Dr. Benjamin Chong, an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has his doubts. “I do have concerns about the quality of photos that are taken [and] the lighting. That could effect the judgment, the quality of the diagnosis that’s made,” explained Dr. Chong.
    One app is called Skin Scan, another Skin of Mine. CBS 11 News tried both on Jennifer Maldanado from San Antonio, who had a large mole on the right side of her lower cheek. Stephanie Dalessandro, from New York, also tried the apps. Just left of her nose, she had a much smaller mole on her right cheek.
    The Skin Scan app said Jennifer had a “medium risk lesion.” Skin of Mine said it detected three warning signs for her mole. “Makes me want to go check it out maybe,” Jennifer said. “I haven’t been to a dermatologist in a few years.”
    Both apps told Stephanie the same thing. “I don’t think it’s really useful,” she said.
    It made CBS 11 News Reporter carol Cavazos wonder what the apps would say about the mole just below and to the right of her left eye.
    Skin Scan said, “medium risk detected”. Skin of Mine said there were two warning signs.
    Back in the doctor’s office, Dr. Chong told Carol, “Not really anything worrisome.
    Were the apps just giving automated responses? CBS 11 News tested the apps again. This time we didn’t scan humans, we connected them to the end of a 9-volt battery, a U.S. dime and a small smiley face.
    Here are the Skin Scan and Skin of Mine results:
    9-volt battery:
    Medium Risk Lesion
    3 Warning Signs
    High-risk lesion
    See a doctor soon
    Medium Risk Lesion
    But, no warning signs
    “I think the utility for this to have a firm diagnosis is fairly low,” said Dr. Chong. He believes the apps may be good for raising awareness about skin disease, but says it doesn’t compare to seeing a doctor in person.
    Or as Stephanie Dalessandro said, “If they’re concerned about cancer, I think they would go to their doctor and not their phone!”
    CBS 11 News called Skin Scan, whose company is located in Romania, and they said results from their scans might have appeared similar because they’ve been having problems with the company computer server.
    We also contacted Skin of Mine. The company is based in New York and they said their equipment was sensitive because they’d rather warn someone of a potential problem than not.

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