Melanoma apps put users at risk, researchers say
- 17 January, 2013 09:30
Researchers are warning the public about using smartphone apps which ‘diagnose’ skin melanomas.
In a paper published by Online First by JAMA Dermatology, researchers found 75 per cent of smartphone apps incorrectly classified 30 per cent or more of melanomas as unconcerning.
Smartphone apps evaluate photos of skin lesions and tell the user about the likelihood of lesions being malignant.
Joel A. Wolf and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center tested sensitivity of the apps and the positive and negative reading values of 188 images of lesions across four apps.
Lesions were given a positive, negative or ‘unevaluable’ reading, with 60 of the images showing lesions with melanoma and 128 benign.
Researchers found the highest sensitivity for diagnosing melanoma was an app which sends the photo to a certified dermatologist to analyse.
The lowest sensitivity app was one which used an algorithm to analyse photos.
“Physicians must be aware of these applications because the use of medical applications seems to be increasing over time,” the authors said in a statement.
The authors also warned delaying medical advice for melanomas can harm users.
“These applications are not subject to any sort of validation or regulatory oversight. Despite disclaimers that these applications are intended for educational purposes, they have the potential to harm users who may believe mistakenly that the evaluation given by such an application is a substitute for medical advice,” they said in the Online First paper.
Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0
Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
Why change management doesn’t work
Larry Page wants to see your medical records
Dual-Persona Smartphones Not a BYOD Panacea
After two-year hiatus, EFF accepts bitcoin donations again
CIOs struggle to deliver timely mobile business apps: survey
Customer Success - Slater & Gordon Lawyers
Lawyers work hard, and they work fast. Any activity that takes their focus away from the task at hand represents lost productivity and lost revenue. Slater & Gordon Lawyers needed to filter spam and email-borne malware and provide high availability for email. Results from the business solution they chose include 250 hours of IT staff time reclaimed annually for other tasks, long delays in email delivery alleviated, reduced email-related storage costs, and email failover to the cloud in minutes, avoiding hours-long outages. Find out how they got these results.
Building a Better Mousetrap in Anti-Malware
This story is becoming frustratingly old. Cyber threats are continuously advancing in their adaptability speed, sophistication, and degree of stealthiness. At the same time, the exposed footprint is expanding. More business operations are moving online and end-user devices—corporate-issued and user-owned—are expanding in number and variety. A reasonable question asked by executives responsible for making decisions on their organisations’ security budgets is whether their money and resources are being spent wisely. Are their businesses buying and using the best mix of security technologies to meet their needs and obligations? Read on.
Top 10 tips for Migration
As users bring multiple devices to the workplace, IT departments need to have a single view of all their mobile devices. Find out how to build a secure and reliable management platform for next generation mobile computing across multiple platforms. Click for more!