Smartphones these days are just that…smart. You can find the best Burmese restaurant in the area, make sure the wine you are about to buy is actually drinkable, scan barcodes to get nutritional information or price comparison, and now you can identify potentially dangerous skin moles with just one simple click.
SpotCheck is a free health-based app where users take a picture of their mole with their iPhone, answer two simple questions, and then sends the information instantaneously to a board-certified dermatologist. (Note: while the app is free, each image sent costs $4.99)
The image is reviewed and a response is sent within 24 hours, notifying the sender that the mole is either atypical or typical. Should there be a finding of an atypical mole, the app will list local area dermatologists and recommend an appointment be made for further scrutiny and testing.
SpotCheck was developed by New York City dermatologist Dr. Bobby Buka, who has a history of treating high-profile clients such as Jennifer Aniston, Rachel McAdams and Sara Jessica Parker. In addition to having a medical degree and completing residencies in both dermatology and pediatric dermatology, Dr. Buka also completed a law degree, and has particular expertise in lasers, skin cancer and acne.
The app also offers images of what different types of moles look like, and which are not moles but other types of skin disorders, such as melanoma, eczema, fungus and Lyme disease.
The advantage: no waiting for an appointment to your general practitioner or referral to a dermatologist. Quick. Easy. Cheap.
Cost: Free download, $4.99 per image sent
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and you have a 20 percent chance of developing such cancer in your lifetime. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over 2 million people are diagnosed annually, meaning that there are more new cases of skin cancer diagnosed every year than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. Take your skin seriously and be watchful for unusual or fast-growing lesions on your body.