Skin Cancer-Detecting Apps Are Unreliable

skin cancer apps

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

We hope didn’t need to tell you this. Still, it’s an important bit of information that could save your life if you for any reason chose to believe an iPhone app.

According to Reuters, a recent study shows that skin cancer testing apps are not very accurate. The apps aren’t marketed as something that should be the final word over whether or not you have skin cancer, but the danger for some can be if they decide to let the app have final say over whether or not a lesion on their skin may be cancerous.

Here’s a portion of the report:

“There’s no substitute, at this point, for a complete skin exam performed by an expert dermatologist for picking up melanoma as well as other skin cancers,” said Dr. Karen Edison, a dermatologist from University of Missouri in Columbia who wasn’t involved in the new study.

And  another little snippet:

For example, even if an app makes a correct diagnosis of melanoma, that doesn’t necessarily help if the patient doesn’t know where to get a biopsy or doesn’t have insurance to pay for it, Edison said. “We’re all for technology, but we need to keep it in perspective, and make it a tool.”

We doubt many people will rely solely on one of these apps to make a diagnosis. Still, it’s worth keeping in mind: Don’t rely on an app to test you for a potentially deadly disease.

[via Reuters]

About 8bitjay

Google + Profile