A simple approach to a complex problem
In the last 50 years, the use of UV-tanning beds and unhealthy tanning behaviour have caused a steep increase in skin cancer rates.
According to the latest stats an estimated 232,000 people globally get melanoma every year (GLOBOCAN, 2012 stats). Melanoma is one of the most aggressive types of skin cancer and currently 1.2 m Americans live with a melanoma diagnosis. The US accounts for about one third of global melanoma cases.
A personal history or a family history of melanoma increases the risk of getting a melanoma and so puts many more at risk. And the problem won’t go away, melanoma rates still continue to rise in many countries.
Luckily, there are things that can be done to remedy this challenge as survival rates increase greatly if a melanoma is caught early. So naturally, early detection of melanoma is addressed in many ways. And technology is at the center of these efforts.
Some research has shown promising results in risk assessing moles and marks for melanoma through artificial intelligence or telemedicine using clinical high resolution images. And, as technology like this will be part of the future, we do monitor the progress closely.
The journey to innovate how a melanoma is found and diagnosed is, however, filled with many technical, economical, behavioural, regulative, practical and ethical challenges. A prudent approach is warranted.
And so it is still recommended to go to a physical location to get your skin checked for melanoma and other skin cancers. And simply removing moles is not the answer either. In adults, about 70% of melanoma cases are not-associated with existing moles but form as new marks on the skin.
An unnoticed appearance of a new spot on your skin or a change in an existing mole are real problems that should be dealt with.
And therefore it is recommended by many experts to get to know your skin and keep an eye out for any change. It may also be a good idea to go through a few skin cancer pictures to get an idea of what different types of skin cancer might look like. If you spot anything suspicious the best thing you as a person can do is to see your doctor as soon as possible.
Remembering all of your skin’s appearance and remembering to follow up on your own skin examinations on a regular basis is not easy though and this is where Miiskin’s solution comes in.
About the Miiskin App
The Miiskin app helps you structure a process around your skin examinations and allows you to take and keep photos of your skin and moles for monitoring over time. It also assists you in comparing photographs over time by allowing side-by-side viewing and parallel manipulation of the images. This makes it far easier for the user to identify differences between photos such as the appearance of a new mole, or a change to an existing atypical mole. We are now also working on an innovative new Skin Mapping solution, where a computer also highlights all the moles and marks it can find to visually aid the user.
When we tell consumers about our feature set, they are often surprised by the simplicity – For most people it is tempting to think that it must be easy to risk assess a mole or do something clever with the photos taken with the app, but unfortunately it is far from simple to diagnose melanoma.
When we tell doctors and those people, who have been living with the challenge of keeping an eye on their skin, the simplicity of the Miiskin app is much welcomed. Knowing about the complexity, they realise that enabling an important behaviour can be a game changer in this space
Skin self-examinations have been championed by experts over the last 30 years. And with the cost of taking a photo dropping to zero with the emergence of smartphones, photographing your skin and moles are recommended by more and more organisations.
British Skin Foundation, CANSA, Melanoma Institute Australia, Danish Dermatological Society, Queensland Department of Health, WebMD and UpToDate. This is just some of the organisations recommending taking photos, not as a panacea to the problem, but in order to make progress in the right direction.
And it seems Miiskin is in a perfect position to bridge the recommendations with what the skin-smart consumers want: simplicity, security, convenience and a small nudge now and then to stick with it.
Miiskin is made with love in Copenhagen. Miiskin’s apps have so far been downloaded over a quarter of a million times and they are very highly rated in the app stores. Miiskin’s users have taken a quarter of a million photos in the effort of keeping an eye on their skin.
The Miiskin Awards
Nominated for the Norrsken Award 2019
Miiskin has been nominated for the Norrsken Award as one of the leading impact startups in all of Northern Europe.
Winner of the European Venture Contest 2018
The largest European venture contest with +2400 competing companies across 27 countries.
Awarded by European Union’s Horizon 2020
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 886422.
Miiskin in the news
App Of The Day in the App Store
Sunday the 4th of February 2018 in the World Cancer Day Apple selected Miiskin and promoted our app as the “App Of The Day” in UK & Ireland in their new App Store.
Miiskin is a mobile health company based in Copenhagen, Denmark – that empowers people to manage their own health with mole surveillance and working on innovating the process of the important early detection of changes to skin and moles.
Founder & CTO
Daniel Efdal Tronier
Founder & CMO
Business Development Director
Computer Vision Advisor
What doctors say
It’s important to stay vigilant to changes in skin lesions. People should regularly examine their skin to become familiar with their usual moles, freckles, and other spots. It’s very useful to use photographs to keep a record of the skin’s appearance and this is facilitated by mobile apps. Changes to moles, such as changing shape or colour, growing in size, crusting, itching, bleeding, or the appearance of new moles or scaly spots, could be a warning sign of skin cancer. If in doubt, see your doctor.
Personal vigilance is important in monitoring the skin for new and changing moles. Many Dermatologists including myself have long advocated the use of photographic records for ongoing monitoring. This has become easier and cheaper with the widespread use of cameras and Apps (such as Miiskin) on personal phones, tablets and computers. New and changing moles, such as changing shape, size and colour and any crusting, itching or bleeding, are what to watch out for and report to your doctor.
The Miiskin app is a great way to encourage people to monitor their own skin regularly, to help track any changes which could be worrying. If any changes are noticed, the user can then visit their dermatologist for a medical assessment.
Malignant Melanoma cases are still on the rise. Most often, the best person to notice any changes in your skin is you. Everything that can help make people attentive to new moles and changes in old moles is therefore welcome. Miiskin’s apps are a help in monitoring moles and seem to be both useful and sensible. The apps allow the user to systematically follow any brown spot in a simple and straightforward manner. The next logical step would be to give physicians access to the images to provide the important new dimension of “evolution over time” to the medical decision. It is very positive and inspires confidence that Miiskin’s apps do not try to assess whether any given spot could be malignant or not – but leave physicians to do the assessments based on a complete assessment of the spot as well as the patient.
As a family doctor, I joined this project in passion, since I have been lacking a tool like this for years. In my practice, I see many people with skin concerns, people with a high risk of developing melanoma (like white males age 50+) or people that have been through a melanoma treatment. They have often been told to keep an eye on their moles without getting further instructions on how. Miiskin is a perfect tool to keep an eye on your irregular moles or moles that you have been told to watch. It is now also officially recommended to use photos to monitor concerning moles by UpToDate.com – One of the largest evidence-based, physician-authored clinical decision support resources in the world.
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