A Kiwi-designed camera with advanced photographic technology has been created to help win the fight against melanoma.
MoleMap have developed a unique camera specifically designed to more accurately photograph and map moles for early melanoma detection.
The technology is being used by clinics, dermatologists and general practitioners across New Zealand and Australia and will soon be available in the US.
Chief Executive of MoleMap NZ Adrian Bowling, says the new technology aims to fight skin cancer by increasing accuracy of the mole mapping process. Bowling says more than 300 New Zealanders die of melanoma each year.
"We are excited about the diagnostic potential of this new technology - it means we have a reliable custom camera to improve our mole imaging and diagnosis and ultimately utilise it to help save lives," says Bowling.
The camera, named the DermLiTe DLCam, utilises fixed focus for creating clinical and dermoscopic images, as well as a cross polarising light unit which illuminates the image with increased levels of polarised light. This creates a strong contrast and gives better definition, allowing for more accurate diagnosis of melanoma.
The Kiwi-pioneered technology represents a collaborative effort between development, design and manufacturing/distribution teams in New Zealand, Australia and the US, with the IT support outsourced to New Zealand specialists CodeBlue.
Bowling says they developed the customised camera due to the supply uncertainty of off-the-shelf multi-purpose cameras, and the time and expense involved in modifying cameras not specifically designed for mapping moles.
With 50 clinics and nearly 30,000 patients seen annually across New Zealand and Australia, MoleMap's imaging system is regarded as the world's most advanced melanoma and skin cancer screening programme.
All of the clinics, including seven in the US owned by a business partner, utilise an Auckland-based central server to store and access patient image files and data.