About the study

The aim of the MelaTools-Apps study is to understand user views on the usefulness and usability of smartphone applications ('apps') for skin self-monitoring (SSM). The study will focus on the use of iPhone apps rather than trying to detect skin changes over the study period.

Participants at above population risk of melanoma will be recruited from two mid-Essex GP practices. They will be invited to attend a workshop and use the apps to monitor three or more pigmented skin lesions, or moles, for three months. Participants will also be asked to complete a diary after one and two months and an interview at the end of the study to share their views and experiences.

For more information, please download the participant information sheet below.

Q & A

The study

How long does the study last for?
Each person who takes part in the study will be involved for 3 months.
What happens to the information collected?
All information will be securely stored with only the research team having access. The information will be analysed by the research team to understand views on the apps used in the study.
Will my personal information be made public?
Participants will never be named or identified in any way on reports, papers or other means of sharing the study's findings.
How will information be collected?
Information on user views and experiences will be collected at the study workshop, in short diaries (questionnaires) completed after one and two months, and during an interview with the researcher at the end of the study.
What will happen to the results of the study?
The results of the study will be published in medical journals, but no one will be identified. A summary of the results will also be posted on the website. This section will be regularly updated with the study's progress and activities.


Who is invited?
People aged 18 to 75 years old who own an iPhone 4 or above are invited to take part in the study. After completing a short survey, people with above the 'normal' population risk of melanoma will be invited to take part in the main part of the study.
Where do I go if I have concerns about a mole?
If you have concerns about a mole or your risk of melanoma, please contact your GP. If you are interested in finding out more about risk factors for melanoma you might find the following websites useful: www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/type/melanoma and www.melanomafocus.com.
Will information be kept confidential?
Yes – we consider that keeping people's information (data) safe and confidential is very important. We work within the NHS code of practice for data protection and confidentiality.

The apps

Which apps will be used?
Participants will be asked to download up to five apps that are currently freely accessible to the public on the Apple App Store to monitor their skin. These have been selected by the study team.
Who will pay for the apps?
The study team will give participants an iTunes voucher to cover the cost of the apps at the workshop.
When will the apps be downloaded?
Participants will download the apps at the workshop and be given instructions about how to use them.
Whose iPhone will be used for the study?
Participants will download the apps onto their own iPhone, and at their own risk. The study team does not take responsibility for any affect that the apps may have on devices or for damage caused whilst using the apps.

Participant information sheet

Please find more information about the MelaTools-Apps study in the participant information sheet. You can access or download this through the following link: