New York: As we know, any cancer can be tackled better if detected early. With skin cancer, the chance of survival can be 98 percent if detected early.

Now, here is a device, quite inexpensive, that can attach to your smartphone and help detect skin cancer when it is in very initial stages.

Named MoleScope, the melanoma-detecting device is actually a tiny microscope which attaches to the camera on your phone, reported.

It takes close-up images of moles, sends them off to a dedicated analysis platform called the DermEngine, where they are studied by doctors.

If there is a hint of a problem, you will find out straight away.

Developed by Maryam Sadeghi during her PhD research in computer science several years ago, the MoleScope has finally become a reality, and has been revealed during the World Congress of Dermatology in Vancouver this week.

It operates using a specially designed app suitable for iOS, and is ideal for keeping track of how moles and skin condition can alter over time.

“As a patient, I do not have to wait 12 months to use a doctor’s phone or camera to look at my mole. I can do this from home. It enables patients to have access to the same system that doctors have in their clinic,” Sadeghi was quoted as saying.

Additionally, like many other examples of smartphone-based medical tech, it will be extremely helpful in regions where medical services are less specialised or in places where a skin cancer specialist is not available.

The high quality images are the key to the MoleScope’s effectiveness, and it has already been proven to work.

According to Sadeghi, when the device was being tested, her PhD supervisor was assessing the pictures taken of her own skin and managed to self-diagnose melanoma.

“We were fortunate that she found it at an early stage,” Sadeghi said.

MoleScope can be pre-ordered online, available now for $100. Another version with additional patient management features can be had for $200. The MoleScope is currently suitable for the iPhone 5 onwards. An Android version too is in the pipeline.

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