Skin cancer diagnosis goes mobile via new iPhone device

A new iPhone peripheral and app combo may take skin-cancer diagnosis into the field. Whimsically named the Handyscope, the device turns an iPhone into a dermatoscope, which physicians use to differentiate between cancerous and non-cancerous moles, according to iMedicalApps. Physicians can take close-up images of moles, freckles and other skin abnormalities and upload them for later viewing and analysis.

The device includes a case into which an iPhone 3G, 3GS or 4 can slide, aligning the phone's camera with a set of lenses in the Handyscope, gizmag reports. The clinician presses the device against the patient's skin and takes the picture under a polarized light. The image can be taken with a standard zoom function, and later magnified up to 20 times for viewing on a PC or other monitor. No word yet from reviewers about the quality of the images.

The images are date- and time-stamped and can be stored or shared, according to its maker, German-based Fotofinder. Files are encrypted and safe for both storage and transmission, the vendor says, although it hasn't specified whether either are HIPAA compliant.

"We developed the handyscope for all doctors who want to have the possibility to take pictures of the skin and work with them later. It is an alternative for those who miss the 'capture-and-save-function' when using conventional handheld dermatoscopes," Andreas Mayer, Fotofinder's CEO, told gizmag.

The device itself costs a hefty $1,600, and the app another $12 through the iTunes App store.

For more info:
- read this gizmag post
- check out this iMedicalApps article
- learn more about the Handyscope