As smartphone applications abound and users increasingly rely on them to perform tasks ranging from conducting vision exams to keeping track of calories consumed, dermatologists strike a note of caution. According to research involving four smartphone applications that claim to be able to distinguish between benign lesions and melanoma, results were found to be “highly variable.” Interestingly, three of the apps relied on algorithms to make the determination, while the fourth relied on a remote evaluation by a dermatologist. The diagnosis success rate ranged from 6.8% to 98.1%, with the highest score coming from the dermatologist. This study shows that something as important as a melanoma diagnosis should not be left to anyone (or thing) less than a professional dermatologist.

Technology has changed how we gather information.  However, a smart phone application is not a substitute for a board certified dermatologist.  If you notice unusual moles on your skin or experience skin discomfort, please call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111 to arrange an evaluation.  We follow the latest medical standards and create customized, comprehensive treatment programs.  Our office is located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7, Elmhurst.  We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist 

P.S. The three melanoma-diagnosing apps generated by algorithm mentioned above missed the diagnosis on 30% or more of actual melanomas, classifying them as “unconcerning.”