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This app detects skin cancer better than your doctor

This app detects skin cancer better than your doctor

As you probably know, I live in Arizona, where you can get a sunburn just about any time of the year. You don't even have to be outside very long.

Sunscreen is a must, as too much sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, especially the dangerous melanoma. Without early detection and treatment, melanoma can be deadly.

That's why the a new screening system could save a lot of lives. It's the brainchild of George Zouridakis who is a professor of engineering technology at the University of Houston.

The screening system consists of a magnifying lens and special light - called a dermoscope - that slides over an iPhone camera, and the DermoScreen app. You simply take a picture of a suspicious mole or skin spot and the app can tell if it's cancer or not in a few seconds.

So far testing at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center shows that the apps is accurate 85 percent of the time. This is a better detection rate than most primary care physicians and nearly on par with dermatologists.

The hardware does cost $500, plus you need an iPhone. However, it could be invaluable for screenings in rural and undeveloped areas without access to a qualified doctor.

This isn't the first time smartphones are being used for medical purposes. Here are a bunch of apps that can help you diagnose illness, find a doctor, refill prescriptions and much more.

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