App identifies ‘ticking time bomb’
An Auckland woman credits an app for saving her life. Fran Heald downloaded SkinVision, an app that checks skin spots, and started taking photos of her moles back in March.
‘‘I had one on my arm that I’d had for ages and I took a lot of photos of moles over my whole body but that one came back as being high risk,’’ Heald said.
She went to a specialist for a general mole check in Northcote.
‘‘The app was instrumental in getting me to the mole man and getting checked. I don’t know if I would have bothered.
‘‘He said they’re a ticking time bomb until you take them off, we took a biopsy and took it off.’’
A month later the results came back and what Heald only thought was a freckle was actually melanoma.
‘‘I have a huge scar but doesn’t really matter.’’
The 49-year-old has become more diligent and even when she’s out walking she always has sunblock on.
The international app was launched in New Zealand in March. SkinVision’s country manager Elizabeth Vincent said it enabled people to take charge of their own health but was still not a replacement for a doctor.
New Zealand has the highest rates of melanoma in the world, with more than 4000 Kiwis diagnosed and about 350 people dying every year from the disease. it
Fran Heald pictured with her husband Dave, credits an app to detecting skin cancer on what she thought was just a freckle.