Soap bar skin scanner for detection of early melanoma
Many scanners look inside the body, but none examine our whole skin because the ripples and folds of flesh need to be unfolded for camera access. The current approach assumes no cooperation from the person being examined, except to lie or stand in standard positions. It struck me while showering that active participation by the person, in the privacy of their own washroom, could be invoked, because most of us will run a bar of soap over our whole accessible and not so accessible surfaces. My suggested design is then a checkerboard soap bar holder, with a smooth, exterior surface. The squares would alternately allow the soap to contact the skin, and the other squares would be digital camera chips, for direct contact microscopy of the skin. Small LEDs could backlight nevi, allowing 3D lightfield imaging. After a shower or two, with appropriate montaging software, a map of our whole skin could be made and analyzed. Two such maps, 6 months apart, aligned and subtracted, could lead to detection of early melanoma: "...most ultimately fatal melanomas are visible on the surface of the skin at a curable phase in their evolution" (Weinstock, 2006). Melanoma incidence is rapidly increasing. See attached references.
Attachment: Gordon2016_Soap_References.pdf (75.7 KB)