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A simple approach to a complex problem
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 skin cancer 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.
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. 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 where Miiskin’s solution comes in.
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.
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 a quarter of a million times and they are very highly rated in the app stores. Miiskin’s users have taken a combined hundreds of thousands of quarter of a million photos to keep an eye on their skin.
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What doctors say
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.
Gregor Jemec, MD, DMSc
Professor, University of Copenhagen
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 with 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.
Specialist in General Medicine and Family 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.
Dr Anton Alexandroff
Consultant Dermatologist & British Skin Foundation Spokesperson
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