Background

MySkinSelfie began in 2016 as a collaboration between Newcastle University OpenLab ( School of Computing science) and Dr Philip Hampton ( NHS Newcastle Dermatology, Royal VIctoria Infirmary, Newcastle). With the explosion in the ownership of smart phones with good cameras we decided to build an app that would help patients to self-monitor.

Teledermatology is the subspecialty of Dermatology whereby diagnosis and patient management is performed by examining images and data without the patient being physically present during the consultation.  There are numerous apps that can help patients to track skin lesions. Most of them are commercially developed and are aimed at mole monitoring. Sadly, many of the apps make claims about diagnostic ability which are not true and are therefore dangerous. This problem was recently reviewed in the British Journal of Dermatology. Other apps have been developed to allow Doctors to monitor patient's skin lesions. Whilst these have their uses many GPs and Dermatologists are too busy to incorporate lesion monitoring into already busy clinic visits.

The aim of MySkinSelfie has therefore been to promote patient-led teledermatology. We want patients to be empowered to monitor their own images and to monitor their own skin health. With the MySkinSelfie sharing function and the skinselfieportal patients can then share access to a folder of images with a Doctor or friend etc. The owner of the  images controls access to the images at all times.

Funding.

MySkinSelfie was initially funded under an academic scientific programme grant called Digital Civics held by Prof Patrick Olivier , Open Lab, Computing Science , Newcastle University. The grant was awarded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council). The grant focussed on numerous workstreams united by the aim of increasing innovative digital working in society including healthcare. Many project students contributed to the design and early usability testing. Mr Dan Richardson, Phd Student, did the coding for the app.

The project has now moved on to be an innovation project based at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust. We have had funding contributions

1.Eli Lilly & Co Pharmaceuticals (Lilly UK). Further development of the app for use in clinical practice was supported  by Eli Lilly & Company (Lilly UK) under 2 separate Joint Working Agreements. Further to this, Newcastle Hospitals and Lilly UK entered into a Partnership Agreement whereby Lilly can offer a limited number of MySkinSelfie accounts to NHS Organisations free of charge, for a 24 month period, on a first come first served basis.

 

2. UCB Pharma provided an unrestricted educational grant to fund the development of the user training videos.

MySkinSelfie did initially have an app download fee. Since it was fully taken over by Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust it is now free and offered as a service for skin self monitring. MySkinSelfie has chosen to have no adverts and has no access to your encrypted data.

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