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July 13, 2011 / molehunter

New iPhone app for diagnosing melanoma skin cancer

My Google melanoma alert tells me about a new smartphone application which can, allegedly, diagnose melanoma.

BusinessWire · Jul. 12, 2011 | Last Updated: Jul. 12, 2011 9:07 AM ET

Health Discovery Corporation (OTCBB: HDVY), a molecular diagnostics company that uses patent protected advanced mathematical techniques for personalized medicine, says its game-changing iPhone app, MelApp, has the potential to change the face of early detection against the world’s fastest growing cancer.

Within just days of release, MelApp is being used by consumers in 24 countries (United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Venezuela, Brazil, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Argentina, Netherlands, Romania, Poland, Luxembourg, Greece, Turkey) as reported by tracking data from July 6 to July 10, 2011. Additionally, in just these few days, MelApp has successfully achieved the status of ranking among the top 100 highest grossing apps in 20 countries in the Healthcare and Fitness category. Health Discovery Corporation is particularly pleased to see early sales from New Zealand and Australia, which have some of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

“Most consumers understand that early detection is critical with a cancer like Melanoma; what they need is a reliable technology literally at their fingertips that offers immediate convenience at an affordable price. Now they have it with MelApp,” explains Stephen D. Barnhill, M.D., Chairman and CEO of Health Discovery Corporation. “We are particularly pleased with the rate of downloads and global reach achieved thus far especially since we purposefully released MelApp initially as a soft launch. It’s a rewarding scenario that Health Discovery Corporation finds itself in, both for the consumers who download and use this informative app and our shareholders who could benefit from the revenue being generated by global product sales of MelApp.”

Herbert A Fritshe, PhD, Chief Science Officer for Health Discovery Corp and retired Professor of Laboratory Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center, states, “The rapid worldwide use of MelApp appears to be proof that consumers are interested in learning more about their risk of melanoma. It is our hope that with the knowledge learned from MelApp, these consumers will seek earlier medical diagnosis and treatment when their melanoma is largely curable, ultimately potentially saving their life.”

Android and Blackberry versions are expected soon.

MelApp uses highly sophisticated patent protected mathematical algorithms and image based pattern recognition technology to analyze the uploaded image. MelApp was validated using an image database licensed from Johns Hopkins University Medical Center. Using the iPhone camera feature, users can take a picture of their skin lesions and moles and within seconds receive a risk analysis of their uploaded picture being a melanoma. Utilizing your iPhone GPS, MelApp can refer you to a nearby physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma for proper medical follow up, without the need to input a zip code or any personal information. These pictures also can be stored on MelApp and reviewed for changes in the skin lesions occurring over time.MelApp by Health Discovery Corporation launches with a special limited time introductory price of $1.99 and is currently available in the iTunes App Store. More complete details about the mobile health app can be found at http://www.melapp.net and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MelApp and Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/SafeHealthApps.

Hmmm. Anything that improves early diagnosis of melanoma gets my vote, but my experience of teledermatology and algorithm driven diagnostics is that they lead to overdiagnosis, over referral and avoidable anxiety. I can just see grouyps of young people stripping off and having iPhone mole parties, its a lot cheaper than going to a private clinic. This kind of diagnostic system tends to overdiagnose to avoid ‘false negative’ lawsuits, so very often the answer will be ‘you need to see a specialist’. This sounds like a recipe for a lot of extra pressure on dermatology clinics, fine if you are a private US clinician, not so good in the cash limited British NHS, where surges in demand are not welcome as they generate extra work but no extra income. Only a tiny minority of pigmented lesions are dangerous. Watch this space.

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