People might not immediately think that they may need to take photos of the moles on their bodies and share them with a doctor, but the founders of TeleSkin believe otherwise. skinScan, the app developed by TeleSkin, is designed to help ordinary people combat skin cancer by providing a tool for assessing whether or not a particular mole is cancerous and for consulting with experts.
The tool allows users to snap a photo, enter some pertinent details, and then run it through TeleSkin’s special system for assessment or to send it to an expert. Users then have the ability to upload their images to Microsoft HealthVault and maintain a history of moles that they have found.
The company was founded in 2007 by Dr. Jadran Bandic, Prof. Djuro Koruga and Sava Marinkovic to develop software and hardware for the early screening of skin cancers and melanoma, but was re-booted in 2012 to focus on mobile technology. Their Windows phone and tablet apps have not yet officially launched, but CTO Zeljko Ratkaj told me that the beta version have downloaded nearly 27K times over the past year, despite little marketing efforts. Now, with €250,000 in hand from winning the Danish Next Step Challenge, the company moves to continue developing its service before launch. The timing of which is still undisclosed.
The skinScan system is currently free to use, but the service will eventually be monetized through in-app purchases by the end-user. Ratkaj says that they are turning their attention to obtaining a CE mark as a medical device and to conduct an independent study in Denmark. Further, he says that they will continue to develop and add features to their automated algorithmic analysis in the short-term and intend to eventually expand to include testing for other skin conditions.
Services such as Doctor Mole (apparently the most popular with tens of thousands of downloads on Android alone) and the University of Michigan-developed UMSkinCheck app for iOS are 2 of the main players in this market. Ratkaj believes, however, that no service has yet gained a significant hold on the market and that there is room for a startup like TeleSkin.