First Derm

How many times have you looked at something on your skin — or on someone close to you — and thought “Maybe I should get that looked at.” Now there’s an app for that. First Derm is a smartphone app that lets you take a photo of your skin and send it off for review by board-certified dermatologists. You’ll get a response within 24 hours.

One interesting aspect of this service is that it anonymizes your data. Your photo and information are reviewed, and according to the company website, 70% of the cases result in recommendations for treatment using over-the-counter products. The company is clear to state that this is only intended to provide “medical guidance” and not a “definitive medical diagnosis or treatment plan,” which is a reasonable disclaimer under the circumstances. The fee for the service is$40, which is considerably less than the cost of an office visit with most dermatologists… if you can get an appointment.

First Derm was the second place winner in the Mobileys mobile app contest. They also won the People’s Choice award. The contest was created to recognize apps with the greatest potential to have a positive impact. While this is not a wearable Health Tech solution, it points the way toward consumer-based healthcare using tele-medicine as a cost-effective alternative for many face-to-face visits with medical professionals. As services like First Derm gain public and professional acceptance, it will ease the way toward adopting other remote diagnosis and tracking applications.