Enhance your virtual care with a smartphone dermatoscope attachment
Virtual dermatology appointments allow access to convenient, effective and safe care for your skin concerns without leaving your home – but technological issues such as poor image quality can limit provider’s ability to make diagnoses.
OHSU is excited to offer the ability to borrow a Sklip® Dermatoscope for free (two-week period) to allow users to capture dermoscopic images of their concerning moles -- to assist in receiving the best possible virtual care.
The Sklip® is a type of dermatoscope that attaches to your smartphone. When properly aligned with your phone's camera, the attachment allows your phone to take images of your moles with higher clarity, magnification, and analysis tools. These photos can be used to supplement your virtual dermatology care, allowing you to provide the highest quality images thus improve your provider's ability to evaluate potential skin cancers, including melanoma.
These images are taken using your phone, thus the photos are yours. You can use them however you best see fit. Two common options are to:
Sklip® use instructions
- Turn on the camera application on your smartphone.
- Attach the Sklip® dermatoscope device to your smartphone camera by sliding it over the smartphone, ensuring that the device is centered over the rear camera lens (you should see a rectangle or circle on the screen). Use the clip spring mechanism to secure the device on the phone.
- Turn on the LED lights by pressing the button on the front of the device.
- Set the magnification of the camera on your smartphone to the suggested magnification of (1.5x).
- Apply one drop of oil on your mole of concern.
- Place the dermatoscope directly on the skin, apply gentle downward pressure, and capture the image with your smartphone. You may need to touch the center of your screen to focus image of the mole.
- Make sure to take and store clear dermoscopic images. If the image is out of focus, retake the photo.
- Store the image in your smartphone camera album for later use.
- Repeat process for each mole you have concerns about.
*We recommend to take two images of each mole of concern. One with your normal smartphone camera at a distance (clinical image) and a second with your Sklip™ attachment (dermoscopic image) as it can be helpful for your dermatologist / provider to compare*
- Open your smartphone camera. Photograph the area surrounding your mole at a distance of approx. 8 to 10 inches.
- Make a note of where the mole is located for future reference (example: left arm).
The photos you take are on your smartphone, thus the photos are yours to use however you best see fit. Two common options are to:
- Use your dermoscopic images to send/share with your provider to raise a concern
- Use your dermoscopic images when submitting a Virtual Spot Check or Virtual Visit (virtual dermatology care)
- Pack the Sklip® device back into its box, and place it with the other materials back in its original shipping envelope.
- Seal your shipping envelope with tape and place your return shipping label to the outside.
- Drop off your package any USPS near you. To find your closest USPS location, go to https://tools.usps.com/find-location.htm
If you are happy with your experience using Sklip® you may choose to purchase the device in your possession. A percentage (%) of the proceeds will go towards the OHSU War on Melanoma Foundation to financially support the continuation of this initiative so that other melanoma survivors can benefit. Please follow the instructions below:
- Go to the website: www.sklip.co
- Add one Sklip® dermatoscope to your online cart ($149.99)
- Click checkout
- Enter your shipping details, then click “Continue to shipping”
- On the right side of the screen enter your discount code: OHSUSKLIP and click “Apply”
- Enter your payment details, then click “Pay now”
- Keep the Sklip® device and share with family and friends!
- Enter “Sklip” in the app search bar on the Apple iOS or Google Play app stores
- Download the Sklip® app
- Register and create a password (the app is completely anonymous)
- Click “Tutorial” on the bottom of the app home screen
- Review the dermoscopy criteria image gallery to know what to look for
Frequently asked questions
- Request to borrow a Sklip® using the request form
- The device will be sent to you when they are available (please note due to availability there may be delays in receiving your device)
- When the Sklip® arrives, attach it to your phone (instructions included), and use it to take photos of your concerning moles
- Your device can be borrowed for up to two weeks, which starts the day that the Sklip® arrives
- Once you are satisfied with your photos of your moles using the Sklip®, send the device back using the provided packaging and shipping info
- Use the photos however you see best fit. You can keep the photos for yourself, send them to your regular care provider to inquire about a concern, or use them to during a remote dermatology appointment at OHSU or other
Yes, this is an attachment which clips on to the mobile phone and utilizes the phone’s rear facing camera.
A smartphone is a mobile (or cell phone) that includes additional software functions (such as e-mail or an Internet browser). Common brands of smartphones include but are not limited to Apple, Samsung and others. The Sklip® works with 99% of smartphones on the market, not including Motorola smartphones due to the location of their rear-facing cameras.
Anything on your skin or body that you are worried might be melanoma or other skin cancer. Melanoma comes in lots of different shapes and sizes – and the key is to detect it early. You will take a picture of each spot of concern with and without the Sklip® - the combination of both pictures is more helpful than either alone.
These are your photos. We recommend that you send concerning spots to a dermatologist for review, and that you save them for yourself as well, to determine if the spot is changing (a very powerful indicator that there may be a cancer developing). You may be able to send photos of your concerning spots to your existing provider to review. Please check with their office that they accept virtual visits or photos and are trained to read dermoscopic images. If you choose to do this please note that you are then responsible for any costs related to the review and arranging any necessary follow-up treatments or appointments. All that we ask is that you inform us in a post-review survey of the actions that you took.
No. The Sklip® is not a diagnostic device. The high-quality dermoscopy images would need to be shared with a medical professional for their recommendations and followup care.
To request expert recommendations or care regarding your moles of concern, you can submit the photos as part of a virtual appointment. At OHSU, you can submit a Virtual Spot Check or request a Virtual Visit. Other clinics may have other options which you can request.
You may also use these photographs to share with your regular care provider to inquire about something concerning. The high quality photos will allow you to best advocate for your concerns.
The dermatoscopes are on loan from OHSU. Each participant will have the dermatoscope for up to 2 weeks in order to be able to take photos of moles of concern.
Once the two weeks are up, we ask you to return the dermatoscope back to OHSU with the pre-paid return shipping box so that we can sanitize it and provide it to other users.
A Virtual Spot Check is a way to receive medical advice on concerning moles using technology instead of going in-person to a clinic. This service is designed to analyze 1-2 specific moles, and does not replace a full body skin check.
Securely through MyChart, you will complete an online medical questionnaire explaining your concern, and upload photos for review by the provider. Follow-up recommendations or care plans will then be sent within three business days based on what the provider is able to observe from your description and photos.
The better quality of photos submitted, the better your provider will be able to provide follow-up recommendations. Learn about submitting quality photos, or consider renting a phone-attachment dermatoscope.
To learn more, visit Virtual Spot Check page.
The maximum cost of a Virtual Spot Check is $75 without insurance. This service may be covered by your insurance, please call the number on your insurance card to check your coverage. We are willing to provide a statement that you can submit to your carrier if you believe this will be a reimbursed service but we will not directly bill your carrier. If you have any questions about insurance coverage, please contact your health insurance provider directly.
Virtual visits are live, one-on-one appointments with a dermatology provider through a phone, tablet, or computer with a webcam. These appointments take place at a scheduled time, and are HIPAA-compliant and private.
Due to picture quality limitations during live video chats, it can be very difficult for a provider to provide meaningful feedback on visual skin ailments. We encourage every user to take photos of their areas of concern, and send these to the virtual visit provider (securely through MyChart messaging) before the virtual visit begins. It is recommended to send at least one photo from distance view (~12 inches away) and one of close-up view (~3-4 inches away).
For tips on how to take successful images of your skin conditions, please view these instructions.
MyChart messaging can be found on your MyChart home screen, on both the phone app and on internet browser. When you are drafting your message, MyChart allows you to attach up to 5 photos.
Dermoscopy refers to the examination of the skin using a special tool to look at the skin surface. Dermoscopy is mainly used to evaluate pigmented skin lesions. Dermoscopy requires a special optical lens and a lighting system (a dermatoscope). This allows examination of skin structures and patterns that are not visible to the naked eye. This project uses a mobile phone attachment as a dermatoscope.
No Light: fully recharge the battery and check again. If the condition persists, your product may require servicing.
LED Fails: the LEDs used in your product are designed to last over 100,000 hours. If any one of the LEDs fails, your product requires servicing.
Battery and Charging:
CAUTION: This product uses a special lithium battery, which can only be purchased from Sklip® or from an authorized Sklip® dealer in your geographical region. Do not under any circumstances open the device and/or use another battery other than the one designed for this unit. Doing so could result in damage to the unit and voiding of warranty.
To conserve energy, this product is designed to automatically turn off after 1 minute, and the battery can be expected to supply power for about 30 one-minute sessions. If it shuts off prior to 1 minute, it may need to be recharged. To charge the devices, plug the device into any USB-C port. While charging, the charge indicator LED will glow orange, when fully charged it will appear green.