UK-based medical technology company, Moletest (Scotland) Ltd, is offering primary care professionals the opportunity to reduce the number of dermatology referrals to secondary care with nomela, a screening test for skin lesions suspected of melanoma.
WHY IT MATTERS
GPs and other primary care professionals will be able to use a nomela iPad to take images of the suspect skin lesion, which are analysed against five algorithms to provide a result of either "no evidence of melanoma" or "melanoma not excluded”.
The nomela test has been developed to assist the process of screening out melanoma, and reducing the burden on the healthcare system.
This is even more important now due to the COVID-19 crisis, where the NHS is looking to digital options and ways to reduce the need for patients to be managed and treated in a hospital setting.
The test could help to reduce the number of unnecessary dermatology referrals to secondary care by over 50%, potentially saving the NHS £125 million per year.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Other skin imaging competitors have launched technology to support skin monitoring for patients. Earlier this year, Miiskin introduced automatic skin imaging, available in a consumer app, which enables people to take full-body photographs of their skin at home. Miiskin was one of the few select apps on the NHS Apps Library, and the first skin checking app listed on the EMIS App Library.
In February, a study published in the BMJ advised against the use of apps to assess the risk of skin cancer, stating that skin cancer detection apps “cannot be relied on” for accurate diagnosis, due to their “variable” performance.
ON THE RECORD
Bruce Murray, technical director at Moletest (Scotland) Ltd said: “It is a challenge to identify which skin lesions are melanoma, whether by inspection with the naked eye or using technological advances, such as the dermatoscope.
“Our rule-out technology will help to identify which skin lesions do not require further investigation. nomela uses the iPad Pro as a medical grade device which is centrally controlled so that it can be configured for each user and its operating system and software automatically updated following performance testing.
“The quality of its camera and screen ensure a clear close-up image with detailed edge detection. Our technical approach is to control all variable factors, including the type of device used to ensure reliable results. nomela can deliver true innovation within this market, demonstrating the three dimensions of value that are critical in healthcare, including clinical benefit, patient quality of life and economic value.”