MoleScope: When your smartphone 'talks' to your dermatologist

Molescope is an iPhone attachment that takes high definition pictures of your moles for analysis by a healthcare professional.

A new device that attaches to your smartphone and uses high-definition imaging to help healthcare professionals assesses the health of your moles is being introduced this week at the 23rd World Congress of Dermatology in Vancouver, Canada.

"All moles are guilty until proven innocent," says a video on Molescope's website.

Molescope clips over the camera of an iPhone 5 or greater and turns it into an ultra high-powered lens capable of sub-dermal imaging, optical zoom and precision lighting.

It won't tell you whether or not your moles are the dangerous kind, but using the app, you can send the high definition images straight to a doctor who analyzes them in a timely manner.

And potentially eliminating the need to schedule an appointment is also convenient for those who live in an area with a shortage of healthcare professionals.

The app builds a 3D map of your body, and sends reminders when it's time for a scan.

It guides you through self-checks between professional assessments and provides educational materials about melanoma.

Molescope costs $99 and should be shipping soon, according to its website:

A version for healthcare professionals is available for $199, which enables remote patient monitoring and patient data management.

Android phone models are not available yet, but the company is currently taking requests for them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avoiding indoor tanning, midday sun exposure to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Don't forget to wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that offers protection from the sun's ultraviolet A (UVA) long waves and UVB shortwaves.

Meanwhile, Skin Vision is an app that's currently available to download and although it doesn't come with a high-powered lens, it takes pictures and uses algorithms to analyze your moles.

Technology is making great strides towards detecting dangerous moles and preventing unnecessary biopsies.

The most recent development is an imaging pen that uses three spectroscopic techniques to reveal information that is invisible even to the eyes of a healthcare practitioner.

In a paper describing the instrument, published in the AIP Review of Scientific Instruments, the scientists who developed the tool note that for every case of skin cancer there are approximately 25 negative biopsies.