This Smartphone App is Smart Enough to Detect Skin Cancer

dermoscanDermoScan is a new app from a researcher at the University of Houston. Unlike your average app which will deliver pizza or sunscreen, this app will deliver skin cancer analysis using your phone’s hyper-sensitive camera and a $500 specialized magnifier.

The app has been shown to be effective about 85% of the time, which is better than most GPS systems trying to estimate the next bus arrival time. An app like DermoScan is most effective for doctors operating in remote regions or doctors who work in small towns:

George Zouridakis, professor of engineering technology, has worked on the project since 2005, moving it to an application for a mobile phone after the iPhone became ubiquitous. The goal is to provide quick screening in rural areas or in the developing world, where specialty medical care generally isn’t available, he said.

Early testing found the device to be accurate about 85 percent of the time, Zouridakis said, similar to the accuracy rate for dermatologists and more accurate than primary care physicians. Patients would be referred for follow-up if the lesion were suspected to be cancerous.