What if you could get that weird-looking mole on your back checked out almost instantly? Well now you can.

A new Australian app gives you the chance to get a virtual consultation from almost anywhere!

Melanoma is serious business. This is especially true in Australia, where (along with New Zealand) there are the highest world-wide rates of this type of skin cancer. Not only are new cases on the rise, but melanoma also affects young people (ages 15 to 39-years) more than any other cancer. Even though melanoma is a killer, it’s also highly treatable if caught early on. Unlike other cancers that hide deep within the body, this one is noticeable on the surface.

Screen shots explaining the app from the manufacturer, First Check.
Screen shots explaining the app from the manufacturer, First Check.

So how does it work?

Okay, so you have a funky mole. It’s got kind of odd borders, is a strange color or just doesn’t look right. Now what? Well, don’t ignore it. Please, don’t ignore it. Doing nothing isn’t an option. But, what happens if you don’t live near a doctor or can’t get medical attention right away? That’s where Firstcheck comes in.

This new app lets you take a pic of your mole and get a virtual consultation with a real doctor – all from your smartphone. The app is free, but the consultation costs $19.95. And that’s a pretty good price for some peace of mind. Right? The app’s doctors are currently based in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. They’ll get the photos, review them and provide the user with the next steps to take. Depending on what the dermatologist sees, the user may need to see a doctor in-person for follow up or further testing.

Co-founder Hayden Laird started developing the app after his grandfather was diagnosed with the disease. Laird told 9news.com.au, “We want to be connecting people with their local skin specialists, in every town and every city.” One of the many benefits that this app has to offer is the ability for people who live in rural areas to get help right away. These people may not have skin specialists nearby, making it a challenge to get a diagnosis. The app allows users to get an almost-immediate check-up.

melanoma app

Why is it so important that people who potentially have melanoma get checked out right away? Laird notes, “Early detection is key, so let’s make it easier to get checked.” And, that’s exactly what he’s done!

If you or someone who love has a questionable mole or a something on the skin that looks strange, you can download the app from the Australian Apple and Android stores. Keep in mind, this app is a first step and not a definitive diagnostic tool or a treatment.

melanoma app


Erica Loop is a mum, parenting writer and educator with an MS in child development. Along with writing for websites such as PBS Parents, care.com, Scary Mommy, mom.me, Modern Mom, education.com and others, she also is the creator of a kids' activities and art blog.

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