British Skin Foundation goes digital

The British Skin Foundation has formed a partnership with leading skin checking app Miiskin – in an initiative to promote public health skin cancer awareness and digital self-tracking.

The partnership will focus on public health education, with the British Skin Foundation also set to receive support in direct fundraising campaigns and 15% from in-app purchases of enhanced features and cloud storage.

Skin cancer continues to rise in the UK, with more than 100,000 new cases diagnosed annually and 2,500 deaths from the disease every year. Early detection is a crucial defence against the disease and the initiative will use a smartphone app to raise public health awareness about self-checking.

Miiskin has developed a free app to help people digitally track how their skin and moles look, capturing a snapshot of the skin’s appearance and delivering regular reminders to routinely check for changes. The app has already received 100,000 downloads globally, including 20,000 in the UK.

Aligned with the British Skin Foundation’s philosophy, the technology does not try to take the place of trained clinicians. Rather than trying to diagnose cancer or give risk factors, it focuses on regular self-checking, so individuals can seek advice from their GP or another medical professional if they spot concerning changes to their skin.

Phil Brady, head of partnerships at the British Skin Foundation, the only UK charity that funds research into all kinds of skin disease, including skin cancer said: “We have chosen to work with Miiskin because their app encourages regular self-examination of the skin and moles, which is essential for skin health, as specified by leading experts. This is the first partnership of its type for the British Skin Foundation and we will be working with Miiskin to encourage public health behaviour change in the UK.”

Jon Friis, founder and CEO of Miiskin said: “The prevalence of skin cancer is increasing in the UK and around the world – yet the importance of checking your skin for unusual changes or new spots is not widely acted upon or easy to do. Technology can make self-checking more convenient – and is proving to be particularly useful for people with many moles who have difficulty keeping track of how their skin looks. By working with the British Skin Foundation in the fight against cancer, we are bringing together clinical expertise and digital innovation to raise public awareness.”

Dr Anton Alexandroff, Consultant Dermatologist & British Skin Foundation spokesperson said: “The Miiskin app is a great way to encourage people to monitor their own skin regularly, to help track any changes which could be worrying. If any changes are noticed, the user can then visit their dermatologist for a medical assessment.”