Could an iPhone App Detect Skin Cancer? Only if You Get Naked
As a user and avid junkie of the iPhone, I have to admit that I am amazed by the list of very different apps that are out there for use and enjoyment. Clearly they have thought of everything. From social games to recipe collections to just about whatever you can imagine, it can be found in the App Store. The same is true to a somewhat lesser extent with Android based phones. There are a few less apps there, but that is changing over the course of time.
The latest app that I just read about gave me some real pause. It’s an app that helps you to track whether or not you have skin cancer. For many, the idea of not having to go to the doctor to find this out is attractive, but you have to wonder about this from a couple of angles.
First, you have to wonder about it from the whole “self-medicating” angle. Rather than let a doctor chime in and let you know for certain, you would rather save money, but still be something of a hypochondriac. I personally have learned the hard way to never believe everything you read about things on an app, or the internet or anything else, unless it comes from my doctor. Self diagnosis is never a good idea.
Second, and probably the worst part of this new app, you have to take naked pictures of yourself for the app to work properly. Some of the pictures that you are asked to take are things you could not do holding the phone yourself, so you have to get someone else that you don’t mind seeing you sans clothing to snap a few pictures of you in the buff. Then these pictures are on your phone and with everything that we have seen from Hollywood and around the world, taking naked pictures of yourself on your phone is never a good idea. If there is any doubt of that, you need only ask Scarlett Johansson or someone else that has had the embarrassment of those things cropping up online to know its a bad deal.
Still, if its something that you are interested in, it is called UMSkinCheck and it is free from what I can gather. Although, you won’t find me making any use of this app whatsoever. I have trouble with the idea of taking pictures of myself without anything on just so my phone can tell me what it thinks of my health based on those pictures. That is why we have these wonderful people called doctors. They tend to be a little more accurate than my phone anyway. My phone doesn’t even give me good directions anywhere (thanks Siri), so I can’t imagine trusting it with a cancer screening.