New app lets you check your moles for cancer?

Want to check your moles without taking the time to go into a dermatologist? Well, according to a press release – there is a new app – created by a dermatologist to check whether or not your moles could cause cancer. All for $4.99! But does it work?

The days of worrying about a mole for weeks on end are over. The newly launched SpotCheck app is a groundbreaking and easy-to-use mobile app that identifies potentially dangerous moles without the time-consuming trip to a dermatologist.

With SpotCheck, users simply take a picture of their mole with a mobile device, and the image is instantly sent to a board-certified dermatologist (not to any kind of machine or scanner). For only $4.99, the user will receive a response from SpotCheck within 24-hours that categorizes moles as having either typical or atypical features. If a mole with atypical features is identified, the app will list local area dermatologists and recommend that the user make an appointment.

With the average wait time to see a dermatologist at 38 days, and busy work schedules and insurance co-pays often hindering the decision to have a mole looked at, SpotCheck alleviates those worries with a simple click.

Developed by Nick Wilkinson, SpotCheck is the first app designed to transmit images of moles through a mobile device to a dermatologist, who will scan it within 24-hours for a nominal charge, taking the marriage of mobile technology and personal health/beauty to an innovative new level.

SpotCheck was founded by Dr. Bobby Buka, “New York City’s most sought-after dermatologist” (NBC NonStop) and a favorite amongst Hollywood A-listers. Dr. Buka has offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn with a third on the way, and has appeared on The Today Show and CBS News as a skin care expert.

Allure tested the app out:

If you own an iPhone, you now have no excuse not to monitor suspicious moles on your body (not that you had much of an excuse before). SpotCheck, an app that launches this week, helps people identify dangerous moles with a click of their phone’s camera. Curious, I downloaded the app and snapped a picture of my mole (the same one I monitor regularly with my dermatologist). Within an hour, I received this message: “Your photo shows features that are generally regarded as typical of a normal mole.” (For the record, that’s consistent with what my doctor said.)

The app was developed by Dr. Bobby Buka, a dermatologist who, for the time being, personally screens every submission. He guarantees a response within 24 hours—a promise that inspired him to create the app in the first place. According to a 2006 study by the American Academy of Dermatology, it takes an average of 38 days to set up a skin cancer screening. But it can take as little as one month for melanoma to penetrate the epidermis — at which point the chance of survival goes down to 66 percent, Buka says. “One third of those patients will die,” Buka says. “Suddenly, that 38-day window becomes very relevant.”

The app is free to download, but it costs $4.99 to submit a photo for review. If Buka determines that your mole is atypical, he will refer you to dermatologists in your area who are both board-certified and have signed a contract promising to schedule any SpotCheck referrals within two weeks. “The tricky part about melanoma compared to other cancers, is that we don’t have any chemotherapy that works,” says Buka. “The only thing we can do is remove it, which is why you have to catch it early.”

I’m a bit skeptical. Would you pay $4.99 to try it?


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