Phone app diagnoses Marton woman with melanoma

By Liz Wylie -
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Marton woman Marie Stantiall was surprised to learn that the skin discolouration on her leg was a melamoma in need of urgent attention.

Mrs Stantiall is one of 100,000 New Zealanders to download the SkinVision app which is used to photograph spots on the skin and analyse them within 20 seconds.

The app uses algorithm technology which has been tested in cooperation with dermatologists and checks for irregularities in colour, texture, and shape of marks on the skin.

Users will receive a message that tells them whether they are at low, medium or high risk of developing skin cancer.

Mrs Stantiall said she put her phone down when the red "high risk" alert first appeared.
"I had that instant reaction of denial but I kept going back to look at it until I knew I couldn't ignore it.

"When I went to my doctor, she removed it straight away and she noticed another lesion near my collarbone and removed that too."

The app, is the work of Netherlands-based company SkinVision and was launched in New Zealand in March this year.

Company representative Dick Uyttewaal was in New Zealand last week to announce a new partnership with Kiwi-owned Accuro Health Insurance to tie in with Melanoma Awareness Week 14 - 21 November.

"New Zealand has a growing number of melanoma cases and although there are doctors and specialists who are very good at diagnosing and treating it, people often don't visit their doctors when they should," said Mr Uyttewaal.

"The app is a very useful tool to give people an indication that they need to seek treatment or if they have marks or moles they need to keep an eye on."

The Accuro partnership will provide members with free access to the app with a payment structure where Accuro will reimburse SkinVision on the basis of each melanoma detected.

Anyone can download the app for a free one month trial and Mrs Stantiall said the cost is $7.95 per month thereafter.

"You save pictures in a gallery and then you can take new pictures as often as recommended to keep an eye on any changes.

"I think anyone who has concerns about marks on their skin should use it.

"Especially those of us who spent a lot of our childhoods out in the sun without protection."

Mrs Stantiall said her farmer husband has also been using the app and farmers are a target group for SkinVision.

"We are working on a contract with Federated Farmers," said Mr Uyttewaal.

"People who work outdoors are susceptible to melanoma but really anyone can benefit from using the app because it is a very effective way to track any changes on your skin."

Background and download information can be found at https://skinvision.com/

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