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Smartphone app used by GPs to detect skin cancer
New technology is being used by GPs to take photos of moles and lesions to detect skin cancer. Doctors in the North West are the first in the country to capture the clinical images using a smartphone app.
The aim is to reduce the NHS waiting list backlog to refer patients faster and more accurately. Almost 230 practices in Merseyside and Cheshire are using the technology to make referrals through the app.
The skin-imaging device, known as a dermatoscope, is connected to an app which uses the images alongside referrals and suggests the next steps for the patients. The images are then available for a secondary-care specialist to review and can update the patient’s record.
The app was developed due to 7,000 unnecessary referrals being made each year, according to Cinapsis who created the platform.
Dermatologists have said the technology has made the process faster and more accurate and has helped them save time to help reduce the backlogs.
Lesley Herbertson, Partner and Senior Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Potter Rees Dolan, said:
I have read with interest about the use of smartphone technology to effectively triage, at specialist level, worrying skin lesions, meaning that referrals into dermatology units are reserved for only those cases which need further assessment.
I assume that the technology is being used to screen out only the very obviously benign lesions, and that any skin blemish falling into a category requiring review receives the same. That being the case, any system taking pressure off the NHS whilst ensuring that patient safety is not compromised is excellent news.
Lesley Herbertson is a Partner in clinical negligence here at Potter Rees Dolan. Should you have any queries about skin cancer or indeed any other aspect of clinical negligence and wish to speak to Lesley or any other member of the team, please contact us on 0800 027 2557 or contact Lesley directly.