This App Can Detect Signs Of Skin Cancer From Photos Of Your Skin

Using fractal geometry, the app examines the shape and edges of moles for signs of melanoma

Your smartphone isn’t going to replace regular doctor visits anytime in the near future, but if you conduct regular exams of your skin to check for abnormalities or cancerous growths, you’ve got a tool at your disposal in SkinVision, a new app that analyzes photos of your skin, searching for signs of melanoma.

The app’s utility is rooted in fractal geometry, which examines the outer boundaries and shape of a mole for signs that it could be malignant rather than benign. The moles are classified as either low, medium, or high risk based on the algorithm used to analyze photos. Healthy moles are generally symmetrical with smooth edges, while cancerous moles are more likely to be jagged both in general shape and around their edges.


In a test performed by a dermatologist in conjunction with Britain’s Channel 4, Dr. Emma Wedgeworth found the app to be consistently reliable, scanning 195 skin images and correctly diagnosing 73 percent as cancerous and correctly labeling 83 percent as benign.

Obviously, a success rate of 73 percent is hardly foolproof, which is why this is being marketed and recommended as a strictly supplemental tool, rather than a replacement for more traditional medical care. This video, produced by the app makers in 2013, shows how SkinVision, the product of Dutch researchers, works:

It merits noting that in 2015, two similar apps, MelApp and Mole Detective, were forced by the United States Federal Trade Commission to retract claims that their products could detect melanoma. It seems that SkinVision has proven itself more effective over time, but questions abound regarding using your phone as even a supplemental tool in maintaining one’s health.

Simply put by Dr. Ajali Mahto to The Daily Mail, “There is no substitute for a full skin examination by a dermatologist.”


September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

It's fun to go to a party, talk to strangers, and try to guess where they're from just by their accents and use of language. It's called 'soda' on the East Coast and 'pop' in the Midwest, right? Well, it looks like a new study has been able to determine where a Humpback whale has been and who he's been hanging out with during his awesome travels just from his song.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less