InnoMela and Innovative-Imaging Concepts remote control Melanoma FinderInnovative Imaging Concepts is a medical device company that has recently developed a deviceknown as InnoMela which is intended to be used by dermatologists to gather additionalinformation about melanoma. Melanoma can be an aggressive type of cancer that begins incells called melanocytes. Dr Shawn Allen of Skin Cancer Foundation warns that melanoma is“the deadliest form of skin cancer causing more than 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths, and amajor public health concern.1In 2009, the American Cancer Society estimated thatapproximately 68,720 new cases of melanoma would be diagnosed in that year in the UnitedStates alone.2 Melanoma is reported to be the sixth most common cancer in the United States.It is also the number one cancer in young adults aged between 25 and 29.From the above figures it is easy to see how effective screening and early detection of thisdisease can be significant in reducing morbidity and mortality since the risk of dying from thedisease is directly proportional to the amount of time it has been growing. Early detection leadsto thinner cancers and to saving lives. Before the discovery of InnoMela patient skin self-examination (SSE), physician-directed total-body skin exams (TBSE) and patient educationwere the only means of detecting this cancer. However, in February of 2009 the United StatesPreventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a statement claiming that the “currentevidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of using a whole-body skinexamination by a primary care clinician or patient skin self-examination for the early detection ofcutaneous melanoma, basal cell cancer, or squamous cell skin cancer in the adult generalpopulation.”3In the 2004 Edition of the Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA) DataSharing project, the mostprevalent medical misadventure in pathology claims was diagnosticerrors,reported as the primary issue in 60 percent of insurance claims from 1985 through2004.4Of these errors in diagnosis by pathologists, malignant melanomaresulted in the highestpercentage of paid claims (55.3%) and had thehighest average payment ($396,336).Regardless of medical specialty, failureto make a timely and correct diagnosis can spell thedifference between lifeand death for the patient. With the introduction of InnoMela and itsversatility, and ability for early detection of melanoma these errors will be reduced.InnoMela’s multispectral analysis is intended to allow dermatologists wherever they are toassess skin lesion properties that cannot be seen by the human eye. This has the potential toimprove accuracy of lesion categorization.5 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) does not have a national coverage policy for multispectral analysis of skin. This means
that coverage the use of the InnoMela device to assess suspected skin lesions is at thediscretion of local Medicare contractors. As such, payers that decide to reimburse for thistestare likely to restrict coverage to exams performed onlyby dermatologists.Accessibility of machine-based diagnosis can be extended by using everyday digital images,such as images taken using the built-in camera of a smart phone or a simple digital camera.Such an approach would make melanoma screening using InnoMela more accessible toindividuals who are concerned about the health of their skin but have not yet been able toconsult a physician probably because they lack the financial resources to do so or they have noinsurance coverage to do so.The central appeal of e-Health devices such as InnoMela in the context of melanoma is toincrease patients’ involvement in their own healthcare and ultimately change patients’ behaviorsso that melanomas can be found at earlier stages when treating with curative intent is possible.As and E-Health device for screening and early detection of melanoma InnoMelamight resolvethe gap between patients and primary care physicians as well, providing easily accessibleclinical skin exams at accessible locations such as CVS, Sears,Walmart walk-in clinics,Walgreens and many others across the nation.6InnoMelaavailability will also benefit patients inremote locations who are without access to specialists, or patients with physical barriers thataffect access to care. With an increasingly aging population and limited number of healthfacilities, InnoMela might be particularly useful in elderly populations that tend to be moreisolated.While older adults use technology less studies have indicated that elderly patientstrained to use certain devices found the technology easy to use and demonstrated a high levelof satisfaction with the delivery of e-Health services.Thus InnoMela has the capacity toimprovescreening rates in this at-risk population as well.1 Allen, S. (2012). Melanoma Screening Saves Lives. Retrieved October 28, 2012 fromhttp://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma/melanoma-prevention-guidelines/melanoma-screening-saves-lives2 American Cancer Society (2009).Cancer facts & figures 2009.American Cancer Society,Atlanta, GA.3 Wolff, T., Tai, E., & Miller, T. (2009). Screening for skin cancer: an update of the evidence forthe U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of Internal Medicine, 150:194-198.
4Deloach, E.D. (2006). Early Detection of Melanoma-The Best Hope for the future. HealthcareRisk Manager 12,325 Managed Care (2012).Computer-Aided Multispectral Digital Analysis (InnoMela) for AssessingAtypical Skin Lesions. Evidence Review, 12-136 L. J. Loescher, E. Hibler, H. Hiscox, L. Quale, and R. Harris (2010).An Internet-Delivered VideoIntervention for Skin Self-examination by Patients With Melanoma.Archives of Dermatology, vol.146, no. 8, pp. 918–935, 2010.