New App May help identify RHD

An Auckland University study has found a new phone app to detect skin cancer could also help detect scabies.  Scabies is an itchy rash caused by mites that burrow under the skin. Children with scabies are 28 more times likely to develop rheumatic fever or rheumatic heart disease.

Dr Simon Thornley is exploring the use of Firstcheck's smartphone technology to help detect and combat the scabies skin disease.

Firstcheck is a cost effective way for anyone to check for skin cancers simply by taking a photo on their phone camera and sending them direct to a skin cancer doctor for review.

Scabies is often misdiagnosed which can cause the high infectious disease to spread and lead to complications like serious bacterial skin infections – a major cause of hospital admissions.

Taranaki man Hayden Laird, who developed the app, says detecting scabies was a natural extension of the technology's capability.

Created on: 24 October 2018