The digital skin health revolution
Acne patients are now able to share with their physicians images of their acne for medical treatment, thanks to the mobile app MDacne from Israeli-based MDAlgorithms.
“MDacne is well-positioned to help hundreds of millions of people that struggle with acne and cannot get to a dermatologist,” company co-founder and dermatologist Yoram Harth, M.D., tells Cosmetic Surgery Times. “The app can provide these people immediate customized guidance on how to handle their acne, which over-the-counter products to buy and, most importantly, help them track and commit to their treatment.”
Individuals with moderate to severe acne are referred by the app to visit a dermatologist for further advice and prescription medicine.
However, MDacne is not intended to diagnose or treat acne. “It is simply a guide or coach that helps educate the person with acne and help her or him engage and commit to treatment,” says Dr. Harth, who is in private practice in Herzlya, Israel.
MDacne is currently the leading acne app in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, with 30,000 users, growing by a few thousand every month, according to Dr. Harth.
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The app targets people with acne as opposed to clinicians. “Nevertheless, MDacne is endorsed by some of the leading acne dermatologists in the U.S. and has a special integration with Apple’s open-sourced platform, CareKit, which allows users to share directly their current acne status with their personal dermatologist,” Dr. Harth says.
Launched last December, the free app is currently limited to acne, but the generic technology can be applied to other skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis, according to Dr. Harth.
The company MDAlgorithms “has a very deep proprietary image analysis and artificial analysis technology that can be implemented to any ‘visual’ medical or aesthetic skin phenomenon, including skin aging and aesthetic dermatology,” Dr. Harth says.
Dr. Harth says medicine and dermatology are going to become “revolutionized” in the next few years. “Digital mobile health is expected to be a significant part of medicine, allowing direct to consumer/patient guidance and major improvement in treatment monitoring and commitment,” he says.
Dr. Harth also notes that office visits are very short and usually do not allow for proper patient education. “Therefore, these high-tech technologies should be endorsed by dermatologists and used by them to enhance communication and quality of care of patients,” he says.