I was amazed at the efficiency of the healthcare system in Finland when I moved here from the ‘States. If you needed to book a doctor, you just called up nurse who would evaluate your symptoms and then tell you to what door to wait outside of at a local clinic at what time – no need to go to a front desk or to fill out long insurance paperwork and read an old issue of TIME magazine before you could talk to a doctor.
As much as I think Finland is keeping up with the times, the smartphones in everyones’ pocket provide can cut down on that time-consuming step of actually seeing a doctor.
Esbjerg, Denmark-based Teleskin was founded to bring some technology to this process, and has just secured a six million DKK (€800,000) from Denmark’s SEED Capital, Welfare Tech Invest (part of Accelerace) and a Serbian business angel.
Teleskin is soon launching their first consumer product, skinScan, which does what it says on the box. Users can take in pictures of their wierd moles or lesions and Skin Scan will analyze your lesion through some fancy algorithims and determine if its “typical” or “atypical”. To get a doctor’s look at it, you could also send the picture to an affiliated specialist for an expert opinion.
The background of skinScan comes from the biomedical side. Teleskin devleoped a hardware and software solution that uses a clinical multi-spectral dermoscope that that takes advantage of multiple colors and a high powered magnification to visualize the microscopic structures of skin lesions, in different layers of the skin. Everyone knows that a smartphone is no replacement for a multi-spectral dermoscope, so skinScan seems to be focusing on the skin cancer ABCDs that every lifeguard learns on the job – Asymmetry, Border, Color, and Diameter.
The app gives you some peace of mind if you’re worried about that mole on your back that you’re not sure if you’ve ever seen before, but obviously it’s tough to replace an actual doctor who can biopsy and or prescribe treatment
“Denmark is the country in the world which has the third highest incidence of melanoma, so it makes sense for us to develop the product here. The investment will be used to get our product in the market and strengthen our team here in Denmark. Right now we are looking for the right CMO, which can accelerate our marketing activities. The plan is that we will launch in Denmark first and then subsequently Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. Last year was fantastic for us, but I think that this year will be even more exciting with some interesting challenges ahead. We would not have it any other way,” says co-founder and CTO, Zeljko Ratkaj.
Skin Scan faces some competition from the region, such as Stockholm founded iDoc24‘s First Derm or STD Triage apps, which provides a patient to doctor experience without the image algorithms. Its hard to image that there won’t be a leader in this space in a few years, but it’s going to take a bit of advertising to teach potential patients that you should pull out your smartphone instead of seeing a specialist.