Worried that there’s more to some of your moles or freckles than meets the eye but just haven’t been able to get to a doctor to have them checked out? Well, there’s an app for that. MelApp by Health Discovery Corporation will evaluate the cancer risk level of your worrisome moles and freckles using image-based pattern recognition technology based on a database of information licensed from the Johns Hopkins University Medical Center.
To use MelApp, you capture an image of the mole or freckle and then upload it for analysis. Based on your data connection speed, you’ll then get a risk assessment summary indicating the likelihood that the mole or freckle is cancerous. MelApp uses the standard ABCDE (Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter and Evolution) assessment to detect early signs of melanoma.
Here is the demo video available within the app that shows you how to frame up a mole or freckle for uploading and evaluation:
In practice, framing up a mole is harder than shown in the video. If the mole is small, it’s hard to zoom in and maintain focus since zooming to high levels will only magnify any small movement of your iPhone. However once you nail this, the app does the rest of the work.
MelApp will keep a history of the moles and freckles you take pictures of and submit for analysis, allowing you to track them over time and notice any changes that could indicate melanoma. Of course, MelApp is not a substitute for a real diagnosis by a physician and this is clearly stated in the risk assessment results provided for every skin lesion evaluated. However, it can definitely be a handy way to quickly check a mole you’re concerned about or even be a useful tool for both you and your physician to keep track of your skin lesions over time.
MelApp hit the App Store last week and costs just $1.99 – a small price to pay for a handy screening tool to detect the early signs of melanoma. It requires an iOS device with an auto-focus camera and iOS 4.1 or higher.