Study warns of Medical App accuracy

Study warns of Medical App accuracy

There's an App for that!

But don't be so sure you are getting the proper information when you are dealing with critical health decisions. Our smart phones and the App's that we download have extended their reach into every aspect of our lives, but new research shows that you should be very skeptical of certain app's that claim they can tell you whether that mole you have is a dangerous, life threatening melanoma.

"What they found was that smart phones were not very accurate. They missed about 30 percent of melanomas and said they were un concerning lesions when in fact they were melanomas," said Cleveland Clinic Dermatologist Dr. Melissa Piliang.

The research was done at the University of Pittsburgh and they found that some of the App's, the least accurate ones, don't even use a Dermatologist to analyze the image of the mole.  Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer and Dr. Piliang says you can usually tell just by looking at the mole that it should be checked by a Doctor.

"Things that are growing, itching, bleeding or changing should be checked by a dermatologist,"  she said.

Any delay of a melanoma diagnosis can harm users who may be relying on an App.

"Anything that is asymmetric, one side doesn't look like the other. Anything that has an irregular or scalloped border or color irregularity, part might be pink, part might be black, part might be light or dark brown," also requires immediate attention said Dr. Piliang.

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