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Handyscope turns an iPhone into a digital dermoscope


January 23, 2011

The handyscope digital dermascope accessory for iPhone

The handyscope digital dermascope accessory for iPhone

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Call me crazy, but I’ve always found some peace of mind knowing that the latest medical gadget scanning some worrisome part of my body isn’t an accessory for a smartphone, but costs in the millions of dollars and is the result of years of expensive research and development. However, as someone who has more than their fair share of moles dotted all over their body, I’m willing to make an exception for the handyscope. Consisting of an optical attachment and an accompanying app, the handyscope turns an iPhone into a digital dermoscope to provide an instantaneous up close look at potential skin cancers.

The handyscope features a case into which an iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4 slides so that the iPhone’s camera aligns with the handyscope’s lens system. The device is then placed flush against the patient’s skin, which is illuminated by polarized light from the built-in LEDs. The device features a standardized zoom and auto-focus with images captured with a single tap using the iPhone app.

The images can be immediately viewed full screen with a magnification of up to 20x and saved with another tap. The shooting date and time is automatically recorded with saved the images, while patient data and other comments can also be added manually. The data is all encrypted and can be password protected so there’s no doctor/patient privilege privacy concerns.

One of the big pluses of the device, aside from its portability, is the ease with which images of suspicious moles can be shared with colleagues or uploaded to a second opinion service where world-renowned specialists can weigh in with their view.

"We developed the handyscope for all doctors who want to have the possibility to take pictures of the skin and work with them later. It is an alternative for those who miss the ‛capture-and-save-function’ when using conventional handheld dermatoscopes,” explains Andreas Mayer, chief executive officer of FotoFinder.

The handyscope has its own in-built 2400mAh battery pack, which will keep the LEDs running for up to eight hours and can be recharged with the standard iPhone USB cable.

FotoFinder will launch the handyscope in February at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in New Orleans. Health professionals can order the handyscope for 1,166.20 euro (approx. US$1,590), while the app costs US$11.99 through the iTunes App Store.

Via medGadget

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Why is what is essentially a camera restricted for sale to only Doctors? Ordinary folks will find a way to photograph their skin with polarized light and save the photos for comparison over time. Expect to see a MAKE version on Instructibles within the year.


Bummer it costs so much... This would be great for taking macro photos of anything within reach, not just moles. Would be pretty awesome for insects etc...

Facebook User

This is way too expensive for a 20x microscope! For this price I could get a portable wireless digital microscope AND a laptop PC to run it on.

If this sold for an order of magnitude less, it would be useful for teachers, researchers and docs needing mobility. The app could still charge a solid fee for expert advice (a truely premium service) and even charge more for a doc version of the software that encrypts data, but a lense, light and case are not worth more than the original cost of the phone, especially with possible sanitation issues, etc.

Charles Bosse

You can make one yourself very easily. Just get a \"SE Mini 45X Microscope w/ Illuminator\" available from Amazon $5 or I picked one up from eBay for 1.95 plus $3 postage.

Then pick yourself up a $2 hard iPhone case from ebay.

Glue the two together and enjoy your $7 Dermoscope / Microscope.

May not look as nice as the $1590 one. But I know which one I would rather pay for.

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