Smartphones are used for just about everything these days. So, it’s only natural that the next step would be creating an app that could possibly make medical doctors obsolete. Sound suspicious? You should.
The newest diagnostic smartphone app involves taking a picture of a questionable mole whereupon the app detects whether or not it is cancerous. Although it’s a nice thought, Dr. Laura Ferris, a dermatologist, and her colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh agree that diagnostic apps will never take the place of an actual doctor. Their findings were recently published in JAMA Dermatology:
The performance of smartphone applications in assessing melanoma risk is highly variable, and three of four smartphone applications incorrectly classified 30% or more of melanomas as unconcerning.
Ferris believes our reliance on such apps, “which are not subject to regulatory oversight, in lieu of medical consultation can delay the diagnosis of melanoma and harm users.”
This app, however, could be a step in the right direction for future health related smartphone apps.