We already use our phones to do tons of things remotely, and their cameras will soon help us do more than just take photos and videos. Enter smartphone skin scanner (dermatoscope). It’s a coin-sized gadget that attaches to your phone and transforms its camera into a microscope. This device allows doctors to capture high-quality photos of any suspicious molds without requiring you to visit the hospital for an appointment.
Last year, over 600,000 people in Britain underwent skin cancer checks, and approximately 56,000 required treatment, according to The Sun. The smartphone skin scanner is going to become a part of community diagnostic centers at GP surgeries in the UK starting in July 2023. Thanks to this gadget, doctors will be able to examine twice as many patients in a single day – potentially saving twice as many lives!
Thanks to this tool, the need for referrals and waiting lists will be reduced, and the treatment process will be significantly accelerated. “This is a small piece of kit that has the potential to speed up diagnosis and treatment for tens of thousands with skin cancer,” NHS England chief Amanda Pritchard told The Sun.
Besides the smartphone dermatoscopes, the NHS will also implement an AI system to help doctors assess a patient’s skin cancer risk. Skin cancers are common and in many cases, treatable. However, it’s important to “catch” them on time so they don’t spread to other parts of the body.
Now, if you’re not in the UK and your healthcare system doesn’t cover this, you can still get your hands on a smartphone dermatoscope. There are also AI-based skin scanners that can tell you if everything’s okay based on a photo you take. Now, I don’t know how reliable they are, I haven’t tried them – but they’re better than nothing. I still urge you to visit a doctor if you notice any unusual changes on your skin, especially on molds.
I find it fascinating that we can use our little smartphone cameras for many useful things. We’ve already seen them being used to monitor blood pressure and oxygen levels. In fact, researchers predicted the medical use of phone cameras back in the day, and I’m happy to see that it’s happening. Now, I just have to wait for the Serbian medical care system to start using it in 2083… But that’s the story for another time.