Data Collection Quality Assessment And Analysis
Two authors independently extracted data by using a prespecified data extraction form and assessed study quality. For diagnostic accuracy, each study would ideally have prospectively recruited a representative sample of patients who used the app on their own smartphone device to evaluate lesions of concern. Verification of results , to determine whether each lesion evaluated was skin cancer or not, would have been conducted byusing histological assessment or follow-up . For verification with expert recommendations, all lesions assessed by the app would be reassessed in person by an expert dermatologist. Data would be reported for all lesions, including those for which the app failed to provide an assessment. These aspects of study quality were assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 tool . Any disagreements were resolved by consensus.
Summary of recommendations for low, moderate, and high risk lesions by named algorithm based apps identified by this review
How Your Phone Can Help You Spot Skin Cancer
Telemedicine is a growing field, and skin care is not to be left out: Over the last several years, a handful of skin cancer detection apps popped up allowing you to analyze your skin with your smartphone and artificial intelligence algorithms.
Some send photos to a dermatologist, some provide instant feedback and others offer helpful reminders about self-checking your skin and scheduling a doctor’s appointment.
Here are a few you can download on iOS and Android.
Miiskin uses hi-res digital photography to capture magnified photos of moles on your skin.
See A New Or Changing Spot See A Dermatologist
If you notice a spot on your skin that is growing, bleeding, or changing in any way, its time to call a dermatologist. These are signs that a spot could be a skin cancer.
During the coronavirus pandemic, dermatologists are committed to providing the highest quality of patient care. To do this, some dermatologists offer telemedicine appointments. When you have a telemedicine appointment, you may meet with a dermatologist through a video conference or a telephone call. You may also send information, such as a picture of your spot, to your dermatologist through a patient portal.
If you need a dermatologist, go to: Find a dermatologist.
Related AAD resources
ReferencesAcharya P, Mathur M. Smartphone applications for the triage of skin lesions using machine learning: Time to integrate the clinical information? J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2020 Mar 17.
Bowers J. Technology vs. skin cancer. Dermatol World. 2019 29:24-30.
Craven J. Misleading information is among barriers to progress. Dermatol News. 2019 50:12.
Freeman K, Dinnes J, et al. Algorithm based smartphone apps to assess risk of skin cancer in adults: Systematic review of diagnostic accuracy studies. BMJ 2020 368:m127.
Hilton J. The AI disruption: Computers with clinicians, delivering better care. Dermato Times. 2019 40:1+.
Margosian E. Theres an app for that. Dermatol World. 2017 27:50-55.
Don’t Miss: Could I Have Skin Cancer
Development Of A Smartphone App For Skin Cancer Detection
SkinVision is a smartphone app built as a digital dermatology service for self-monitoring skin lesions. It was launched in 2011 and as of October 2018, it was on its fifth major version. The workflow of the app is given in Figure 1.
A user can self-assess the risk of a skin lesion for skin cancer by taking a photo with his/her smartphone, which is processed by an algorithm. The outcome of the procedure is a binary risk rating, which can be low or high. This smartphone app does not provide a diagnosis . For high-risk cases, the user receives advice from the costumer care team based on the image assessment of an in-house dermatologist.
The Umskincheck Mobile App Features
- Guidance on performing a skin cancer self exam and full body photographic survey
- Tracking detected skin lesions and moles for changes over time.
- Notifications/reminders to perform self exams on a routine basis
- Storage of photos for baseline comparisons during routine follow-up self exams
- Informational videos and literature on skin cancer prevention, healthy skin as well as a skin cancer risk calculator function
- Version # – 1.2
- Requirements – Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Also Check: How Long Until Melanoma Spreads
Why Is It Important To Check Your Moles For Changes With An App
Its important to check your moles for changes, particularly if you have atypical moles or unusually appearing moles. A change in a mole could be a skin cancer sign. You can get to know the appearance of your moles and document their appearance with photos to check them for changes at home, but you should see a physician if you are concerned about one or more of your moles and want an examination if a mole on your skin might be of concern.
Why Automatic Skin Imaging
Privacy & Independence: You dont need anyone elses help to photograph your skin. The Miiskin app will do that for you.
Consistency: Automatic Skin Imaging is powered by Computer Vision and Augmented Reality helping you consistently take photos.
Time-saving: Taking pictures with Automatic Skin Imaging takes only a couple of minutes with this small investment every few months, you can build a vital photolog of your skin.
Recommended Reading: What Race Is More Likely To Get Skin Cancer
The Importance Of Annual Exams
The easiest and most effective way to detect skin cancer is to self-check your skin and go to a dermatologist regularly for a check-up.
Experts disagree on what groups of people should get annual exams: Some say you only need a screening if you have suspicious moles or risk factors for melanoma others say everyone should get an annual skin check.
A few factors increase your risk of skin cancer, and if you have any of these, you would benefit from a yearly check-up:
- Fair skin, light eyes and blonde or red hair
- Skin that burns or freckles easily
- A family history of any type of skin cancer
- History of tanning bed use
- History of severe sunburns
- Unusual moles or more than 50 moles on your body
For now, even though these apps may be helpful in some ways, your best bet is to seek the professional opinion of a dermatologist or doctor if you notice any suspicious moles or other warning signs of skin cancer.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Causes Of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is caused by the mutation in the DNA of skin cells. But what is causing that mutation? In most cases, the answer is UV exposure from the sun. Both normal day-to-day exposure when outside, and also from actively trying to tan. But often appears in places that is usually hidden from direct sunlight, so there are other factors in play.
Studies have shown that exposure to toxics can be a cause, for example from the environment that you live in. Also, genetics can be a cause of skin cancer.
You May Like: How Is Early Melanoma Treated
Signs That Your Mole Can Be Suspicious
If your mole starts to show some strange characteristics, it is probably time to ask a doctors opinion. Visit your doctor if your mole:
- develops a crust or a scab
- sometimes bleeds
- is getting bigger or swelling
- is strangely shaped
- has borders that are irregular
- includes lots of different colours or shades
- is bigger than the size of a pencil eraser in diameter
- has appeared recently
Non-melanoma skin cancer symptoms
While melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, it is still important to pay attention to non-melanoma skin cancers and understand the forms they can take.
According to the UK National Health Service, one of the first non-melanoma skin cancer symptoms is a persisting lump or discolored patch on the skin that doesnt heal after a few weeks and keeps progressing over months or even years. The two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Find out how to identify these types of skin cancer below.
Something Just Looks A Little Odd
Your skin is always changing in fact, it regenerates itself all the time. So, if you notice a spot that doesnt go away over the course of a month, it means that this spot sits in the lower layers of your skin. These skin abnormalities should be checked out by a doctor.
It is a good idea to keep track of the size and shape of your moles so that you can show your doctor a timeline to help with diagnosis. SkinVision is ideal for this, as it enables you to detect signs of skin cancer in time and allows you to archive photos of your moles to track any possible changes.
You May Like: What Is Carcinoma Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer Apps Cannot Be Relied Upon For Accurate Results Study Finds
Smartphone apps designed to detect the risk of skin cancer are poorly regulated and frequently cannot be relied upon to produce accurate results, according to a new analysis.
Researchers based in the University of Birminghams Institute of Applied Health Research, in collaboration with the Centre of Evidence-Based Dermatology at the University of Nottingham, have analysed a series of studies produced to evaluate the accuracy of six different apps.
Their results, published in The BMJ, reveal a mixed picture, with only a small number of studies showing variable and unreliable test accuracy among the apps evaluated.
They found the apps may cause harm from failure to identify potentially deadly skin cancers, or from over-investigation of false positive results such as removing a harmless mole unnecessarily.
Lead researcher, Dr Jac Dinnes, from the Institute of Applied Health Research, said: This is a fast-moving field and its really disappointing that there is not better quality evidence available to judge the efficacy of these apps.
It is vital that healthcare professionals are aware of the current limitations both in the technologies and in their evaluations.
But the systems for generating and implementing evidence have not yet met the specific challenges, they added.
The study looked at nine different applications and found evidence for accuracy was lacking.
Skin Cancer App Fails To Identify Rare Aggressive Cancers
A direct-to-consumer machine learning model for detecting skin cancers may not adequately recognize rare, but aggressive, skin cancers, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, held virtually from Sept. 29 to Oct 2.
Lloyd Steele, M.B.Ch.B., from the University of London, and colleagues assessed the performance of a machine learning model for Merkel cell carcinoma and amelanotic melanoma. The performance of a direct-to-consumer model, which is available in Europe as a certified medical device, was assessed using a set of images that included 28 MCCs, 35 amelanotic melanomas, 28 seborrheic keratoses, and 25 hemangiomas.
The researchers found that the direct-to-consumer app incorrectly classified five of 28 MCCs and seven of 35 amelanotic melanomas as low risk. Nearly two-thirds of benign lesions were classified as high risk. The model’s sensitivity for detecting malignancy was 79.4 percent, with a specificity of 37.7 percent.
“In order to improve, machine learning model evaluations should consider the spectrum of diseases that will be seen in practice,” Steele said in a statement. “At the moment, most of the performance of those models is driven by the imaging data available, which is particularly scarce when it comes to rare skin cancers.”
Also Check: How To Recognize Skin Cancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma Signs And Symptoms
Basal cell carcinoma appears in several forms. While it rarely spreads to other areas of the body or vital organs, it can cause disfigurement if left untreated.
It most often appears as:
- a hard pearly, waxy looking lump with visible blood cells
- a red and scaly, irritated patch that can grow quite large on the chest or back
- an open sore that bleeds or becomes crusty
- a white, scar-like lesion
- a pink growth with a slight indentation in the center
If you notice any of the above symptoms, visit a doctor for a thorough examination.
Diagnosing Skin Cancer Via Iphone: The Apps To Know
Are you keeping an eye on your moles? Really, though? In light of the shortage of dermatologists, a market has developed to augment DIY monitoring of skin anomalies of all sorts. Instagram filters not recommended.
Forty-two percent of Americans live in areas that are underserved by dermatologists, according to a set of recent and oft-cited journal studies. Long lines for Botox? Hardly. With all the cosmetics hoopla, it can be easy to forget that dermatology is most often serious business. Skin cancer, for instance, is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. When caught early, its also entirely treatable.
Heres where things get interesting: Yes, people get a lot of moles, and moles tend to make people very nervous . Yet in truth, while its important to closely monitor your moles, most really are benign.
It takes just minutes for a good doctor to do a check, but compare that to the one to four months the average American currently has to wait to get an appointment. Moles arent the only dermatologic condition thats simple to diagnose,either. Acne has a high cure rate, given just a handful of data points. Rosacea, eczema the list goes on.
Also Check: Can Skin Cancer Look Like Blood Blister
Skinvision App Service In 2018
Before downloading the app, the smartphone should be equipped with a camera capable of producing a video stream with sufficiently high resolution. Although the app uses a regular smartphone camera, the camera module embedded in the app automatically places some restrictions to ensure minimal quality requirements of the images are met: The image needs to be focused, the lesion should be present and contained in the image, and there should be no hair or shadows covering the lesion. The module also prevents the camera from taking images that cannot be assessed by the algorithm .
Algorithm for Lesion Assessment
Training and Testing
The gold standard to evaluate algorithm sensitivity is comparison against histopathologically validated cancers. The second comparator is the performance of the algorithm against the image assessment of the dermatologist . In order to calculate the specificity, we use images of lesions that were classified by dermatologists as benign cases, since these are not usually biopsied, and therefore, there is no histopathology report. Sensitivity has improved from 73% in the first peer-reviewed study, where only MM was detectable, to 95% in the current version of the algorithm , where the SkinVision app can detect all forms of skin cancer .
Smartphone App Users
|Total number of users with an assessment||635,807a|
Usability Risks Of Smartphone Apps
Smartphone apps pose some risks for the user, specifically, if the algorithm returns a negative result while the user has cancer, and detection and treatment of skin cancer are delayed. It is very challenging to study the rate of false-negatives due to a lack of histological verification. The user may also fail to assess all relevant skin lesions, in particular, if they are located in places that are hard to reach or that the user cannot see. Given that the specificity of SkinVision app is about 80%, there will be a few false-positive cases. This may cause unnecessary stress on users or unnecessary visits to the GP/dermatologist. Finally, the user may not follow the advice given in the smartphone app due to a lack of trust or unawareness.
Don’t Miss: Is Skin Cancer Usually Raised
Squamous Cell Carcinoma Signs And Symptoms
Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma usually occurs because of repeated sun exposure over time. This skin cancer is a slow-developing skin cancer that can spread to other areas of the skin, although it is still considered uncommon to spread widely.
Squamous cell carcinoma normally takes the form of:
- wart-like bumps that often have crusted surfaces
- rough, scaly patches that may bleed
- an open sore that bleeds or develops a crust
- red, dome-like nodules
Bowens disease, also known as squamous cell carcinoma in situ, is an early form of squamous cell carcinoma. It usually appears as a red, itchy scaly patch that can often be confused for psoriasis or eczema. It is easily treated, but if left undiagnosed, it can pose a risk.
Skin Mapping: Watch Out For New Moles And Marks
Miiskin Premium also lets you keep track of wide areas of your skin. Access your photos on any large screen anywhere with Web Compare.
Miiskins Skin Mapping , accessed in Web Compare, automatically identifies the moles and marks on your skin that it can find.
Keep an eye out for any new moles or spots not least on the hard-to-see back.
Also Check: How Does Skin Cancer Feel
How Do You Check Moles With The App
Miiskin contains a handy side-by-side comparison tool directly in the app that you can use to compare your follow-up photos against your baseline photos to see if there has been any visual changes.
For your full-body photos it is beneficial to take advantage of Miiskins Web Compare tool. Web Compare allows you to view your full-body photos on a desktop computer or tablet, so you get the benefit of a larger screen size when you compare your full-body photos side-by-side to see if any lesions have changed or if any new lesions have appeared on your skin.
A Skin And Mole Check App You Can Trust
Miiskin is the first AI-powered , skin health app that helps people track their skin and moles over time for early detection of changes.
Miiskin is a mole check app, dermatologically endorsed by the Skin Health Alliance.
Importantly, the Miiskin app does not try to diagnose you based on your photos. Its simply your own tool to document changes to your skin when performing your regular skin check.
Read Also: What Is Liver Cell Carcinoma