Within each dermatology clinic is the potential to change the way people think about their skin health. Not just through regular skin checks and skin cancer awareness brochures, but having patients become engaged in their care plan. With mobile dermoscopy tools sweeping the industry, this is quickly becoming the norm.
What is Mobile Dermoscopy?
A dermoscope is a magnification tool often used by dermatologists and other medical professionals to get a clearer view of the skin to identify any changes or causes for concern. Therefore, a mobile dermoscope is simply a digital dermoscope that attaches to a smartphone or tablet to take the images. By combining the imaging resolution of new phones with the magnification of the device, dermatologists are able to capture medical-grade quality images with a miniature, portable, and affordable solution.
Studies demonstrate that the use of dermoscopy tools increase diagnosis accuracy by as much as 35%. Additionally, one trial determined that there was approximately a 42% reduction in unnecessary biopsies compared to without the use of a dermoscope. Additionally, the non-invasive nature of the device proves attractive for both patients and physicians alike.
Dermoscopy For The Average Individual
When dermoscopy was first introduced, devices were designed solely for medical professionals specializing in dermatology (often resulting in expensive or fragile equipment). With ongoing innovations, this is no longer the case; companies are now offering mobile dermoscopes such as MoleScope specifically for patient use.
Pairing this tool with teledermoscopy apps, patients are now able to capture magnified images of their skin and send them directly to a medical professional in their area for consultation. This is an attractive option for both the patients for several reasons, however the most prominent include lowered wait times, streamlined results, connected services, and an increased level of convenience. Similarly, providing teledermoscopy services to patients offers a range of benefits for involved physicians and dermatologists, allowing them to:
- Limit unnecessary in-clinic visits
- Receive an additional form of revenue
- Work flexible hours at their convenience
- Simplify the consultation process
Increasing Engagement For Skin Cancer Early Detection
As many medical professionals are aware, it can be extremely challenging to keep patients involved in their health care plan. Dermoscopy tools such as MoleScope provide a unique approach as they require the patient to taking dermoscopy imaging into their own hands. Dr. Jason Rivers, a practicing dermatologist in Vancouver, Canada shares his thoughts on the logistics behind the success:
I think people feel empowered because they are taking care and monitoring their own health- they’re not just relying on others to do so. This becomes an important educational tool because people now have the ability to stop and really look at their skin and say: “well this lesion is different from my other spots, so maybe I should focus on this spot and have it assessed by a professional".
The Future Of Skin Cancer Imaging & Detection?
At its core, mobile dermoscopy for patients is so effective because it’s affordable, easy to use, and engaging. By empowering patients with the tools to monitor their own skin for signs of melanoma, skin cancer, and other conditions, they become motivated to remain involved in their care plan. As smartphone cameras, teledermoscopy services, and mobile dermoscopy tools continue to rapidly improve, it is safe to say that it is not a question of if this trend will continue, but rather how it will improve patient care next.