Did you know that it is Melanoma Month?
“Australia has the highest incidence of Melanoma per capita in the world.”
Sunscreen is essential in the fight against skin cancer and the other vital component is early detection. So to help you protect your skin this Melanoma Month (well, every month really) we’ve teamed up with SkinVision.
SkinVision has created a medical skin checking app so that you can frequently check & track your skin/moles at home.We sat down with SkinVision’s ANZ Business Development Manager, Broni Scarce, to learn more about the SkinVision app and to gain a better understanding of ‘skin cancer prevention’.
What is SkinVision & why was it started?
“SkinVision is a mobile-based solution/app that drives early detection of Skin Cancer by empowering individuals to self-check for signs of skin cancer.
SkinVision was founded in 2011 based on a PhD study to apply the mathematical theory ‘fractal geometry’ for medical imaging. In 2012 the SkinVision headquarters opened in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Today, the SkinVision team is an international group of dedicated individuals, including a panel of distinguished dermatologists and a scientific board, dedicated to reducing the impact of skin cancer. SkinVision is on a mission is to save 250,000 lives from skin cancer in the next decade.”
We often hear that Australia has high rates of Skin Cancer, but how high are our rates compared to the rest of the world?
“It is true Australia has the highest incidences of Skin Cancer with 2 in 3 Australians likely to develop some form of Skin Cancer by the time they are 70. The US and the UK is estimated to be 1 in 5. Sadly, Australia also has the highest incidence of Melanoma per capita with an alarming rate of 1 in 1,746.”
Australians face some of the harshest environmental conditions in the world, especially when it comes to the sun & UV rays.
“During summer, the Earth's orbit brings Australia closer to the sun (as compared to Europe during its summer), resulting in an additional 7% solar UV intensity. Coupled with our clearer atmospheric conditions, this means that Australians are exposed to up to 15% more UV than Europeans.” Link
What are ‘SkinVisions’ top Skin Cancer prevention tips?
"Number 1. has to be prevention and reducing the risk of developing Skin Cancer, by looking after your skin and making sure you use excellent sunscreen and UV protective clothing whenever possible, even when indoors.
Number 2. is early detection and making self-checks a regular habit. Because skin cancer can grow slowly and go unnoticed, it is important to track changes in the skin carefully. If skin cancer is treated in time, there’s around a 95% chance of successful treatment.
“The Cancer Council recommends adults should check their own skin and moles every 3 months. If you’re concerned about your skin cancer risk or notice anything on your skin that’s changed in size, shape or colour, see your GP straight away. Those at risk are recommended to have a trained doctor examine them at least once a year.” Health Engine/The Cancer Council.
Number 3. is if you have a skin cancer or even suspect it, it’s vital to get to a healthcare professional for treatment as soon as possible.”
You told us that Skin Vision uses an algorithm to assess the ‘danger scale’ of a mole/potential melanoma, how does it do this & how accurate is it?
“At the core of SkinVision is a machine learning algorithm that processes photos through deep neural networks. Using their smartphone, a user can take a photo of their skin spot, which the app will analyze within 30 seconds. They’ll receive their risk assessment, which indicates the level of risk based on signs of skin cancer (low or high), as well as a recommendation, which may include a trip to the doctor for further examination if the spot is high risk.
The accuracy of the algorithm has been clinically-validated in several studies. Most recently, a study published in a peer-reviewed journal (JEADV) concluded that the SkinVision app has a high accuracy of detecting skin cancer. The overall sensitivity of the algorithm in recognising skin cancer (melanoma, BCC, SCC and premalignant stages) is 95%.”
The App is TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia) approved, could you tell us what that means in terms of your service?
“The SkinVision App has been through the full rigorous regulator process and is TGA registered as a Medical Device Class 1. This ensures quality, accuracy and can ensure we can be trusted. SkinVision is also CE marked for use in Europe.”
We’re just going to jump in again here, We Are Feel Good Inc. is also TGA approved; all our of sunscreens have an Australia License Number.
Anything else you’d like to add Broni?
“SkinVision is proud to say we have over 1.2 million users worldwide, and we are fighting skin cancer on a global scale. So far, we have helped the discovery of 40,000 Skin Cancer Cases with 11,000 of those in Australia and New Zealand.
We are so excited to work with We Are Feel Good Inc. as together we can do more in preventing and detecting Skin Cancer!”
SkinVision is offering We Are Feel Good Inc. subscribers 20% off their premium medical skin checking app, so that you can frequently check & track your skin/moles at home. Head to the app store & use code 'WAFGI2020 '.
20% off a 12-month subscription only.
Valid until 31.12.2020.