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New Smartphone App Detects Skin Cancer

In case you haven’t noticed, health-related apps have skyrocketed since fitness tracking devices have hit the market. In a drastic change that seemed to happen overnight, people now rely on their mobile devices for an algorithm-based guidance to help them achieve their health goals. As a result, fitness and health is now measured according to the data collected by your smartphone. Smart, convenient, and most importantly – easy to understand.

The trust for app-based health guidance is at an all-time high, which is why it’s not surprising to see apps that intend to help you detect various illnesses, such as skin cancer. Apps that detect melanoma (skin cancer) have been around for at least 4 years, and the number of apps that promise to detect skin cancer is growing. Most of the apps on the app stores are mostly for free, but in-app purchases can reach the upwards of $25.

While these apps add convenience and simplicity to its allure, accuracy certainly is not a primary focus of these apps. Algorithms and trackers are never enough to make a diagnosis, and the Federal Trade Commission has taken notice. Claims like these could be categorized as false advertising, and the FTC made it clear that false advertising has no place in the market.

While apps are great for keeping track of your calories and for tracking your fitness progress, it could not substitute for the diagnosis of an actual physician – just like how herbal supplements could never be proven to have therapeutic claims.

What this means for you

The action by the Federal Trade Commission just made it clear that consumers are not to be taken advantage of. If an app claims to cure a certain ailment or to have a specific diagnosis, it needs to be backed up by science and studied for its accuracy. Misdiagnosis on this scale could greatly affect the consumer, and that’s what the government is trying to prevent.

How to spot a bogus app

App vendors will say anything to get you to buy their apps. Use these steps to find out how to spot bogus apps:

  1. Google it

Before making a purchase, make it a habit to Google the app first. Check for user reviews and see if there’s any truth to their claims. Also, find out if there’s a realistic science behind the app. If there’s an app that can cure illness, studies will be published everywhere. If what you see doesn’t satisfy you, don’t buy the product.

  1. Check the reviews

Real-life use of the apps is different for everyone. Check the user reviews to see the different scenarios in which the app was used, and learn from it. Do not buy an app based solely on what the app vendor says about the app.

  1. Be wary of FREE apps

Apps are never for free. App development can cost a lot of money, and the app vendor needs to get profit somehow from the app. Check out the limits of what your app can do for free, and evaluate if you really need to pay to get that extra feature.


Don’t let your business be a victim of the next app scam. Protect your business by working with IT experts who will help you evaluate your IT needs. Alvarez Technology Group offers IT consultation services for enterprises. Contact us at (831) 753 -7677 or send us an email at info@alvareztg.com to get in touch with an IT consultant.

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