Using mobile phone images to improve the early detection of skin cancer

Consumer Mobile Teledermoscopy Research Program – Pilot Study 1

This study assessed the use of ‘dermatoscopes’ which are camera attachments developed for your Smartphone. The dermatoscope allows individuals to take magnified images of skin spots or moles, and then email them to a specialist doctor for diagnosis.

This trial was a cross-institutional collaboration with the University of Arizona Skin Cancer Institute, and the Dermatology Research Centre, University of Queensland. This pilot study was conducted in preparation of a later larger trial to assess whether mobile phone images can facilitate early detection of skin cancer by enhancing skin self-examination behaviour.

This trial enrolled 22 participants at high risk for melanoma from the Nevus Surveillance Study, at the Princess Alexandra (PA) Hospital in Brisbane, Queensland between November 2011 – November 2012. Selected participants were invited to use the dermatoscope to complete a home skin examination and send images of moles captured to a specialist for evaluation.

All participants visited the PA Hospital for a skin examination by a doctor to assess the skin spots or moles they found during their home skin examination. For participants who used the device we assessed concordance between the telediagnosis and the clinical face-to-face diagnosis. We explored participant’s views on skin-examination practices, usefulness of the mobile phone technology and dermatological feedback.


Janda, Monika, Loescher, Lois , Banan, Parastoo, Horsham, Caitlin, & Soyer, H. Peter (2014) Lesion selection by melanoma high-risk consumers during skin self-examination using mobile teledermoscopy. JAMA Dermatology150(6), pp. 656-658.

Janda, MonikaLoescher, Lois J., & Soyer, H. Peter (2013) Enhanced skin self-examination : a novel approach to skin cancer monitoring and follow-up. JAMA Dermatology149(2), pp. 231-236.

Janda, Monika & Soyer, H. Peter (2013) Skin cancer detection by one click – are we any closer? Medical Journal of Australia199(11), p. 739.