MoleMap develops custom camera

Custom-designed camera for mapping moles developed for Kiwi-pioneered imaging system

With nearly 30,000 patients seen annually in Australia and New Zealand and around 300 melanomas identified each year, the Kiwi-pioneered MoleMap imaging system is regarded as the world’s most advanced melanoma and skin cancer screening programme.

Its latest innovation is a custom-designed camera for mapping moles. Five years in development, the camera was launched at the 2012 World Congress on Dermoscopy in Brisbane in May. It’s being sold to clinics and general practitioners in New Zealand and Australia and will soon be available in the US.

Previously, MoleMap used modified, off-the-shelf multi-purpose cameras but the situation was less than satisfactory because of uncertainty of supply, and the time and expense involved in modifying the cameras. The five-year programme to develop the new camera was a multi-country collaboration between development, design and manufacturing/distribution teams in New Zealand, Australia and the US.

MoleMap has nearly 50 clinics across Australia and New Zealand, and seven in the US, run by a business partner.

All the clinics have access to their patient image files and data on a central server based in Auckland.

MoleMap has outsourced its IT to CodeBlue. CEO Adrian Bowling says there were two reasons to outsource to a specialist IT company rather than to hire a new in-house IT person. “Outsourcing was better for the business because it gives us some business continuity and a measure of future security. We’re not so vulnerable to someone leaving. Second, it was going to be cost-effective in the long term compared to hiring a full-time person.”

In the past seven years, MoleMap has seen 135,000 patients, imaged 3.1 million lesions, filed 6.5 million images on its database, and recorded a total of 235,000 patient visits.

CodeBlue general manager Ian Funnell says the outsourcer is operating a continuous improvement model for MoleMap.

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