Help & FAQ
What is Firstcheck?
Did you know that doctors can identify skin cancer from photos of the skin? With Firstcheck, now you can send photos of your skin spots and moles directly to a skin cancer doctor for review – anytime, anywhere. Helping you with regular skin checks, it’s an easy, convenient and affordable way to get your suspect spots checked when you notice them, for your peace of mind. Know if that spot is ‘dodgy or not’ – a doctor is now just a click away.
The Firstcheck App and dyplens (specialised smartphone skin imaging lens) are personal skin check tools enabling you to take ‘selfies’ of spots and to send the pictures direct to skin cancer clinicians for expert assessment. You can do it all from the comfort of home. No appointments, no waiting lists, just specialist advice the first time.
Is it possible to detect skin cancer using photographs?
Sure is – and this technology is commonly used within the medical profession. Skin cancer is considered a ‘visual cancer’ after all. Firstcheck is now making the technology more widely available to help improve access to skin screening services. Check out these photo taking tips to help ensure you capture what your doctor needs to see.
What sorts of things can I have checked through the Firstcheck App?
Anything on your skin or body that concerns you – whether that be a mole, spot, lesion, mark or sore. After all, skin cancer comes in lots of different shapes and sizes – and the key is to detect it early.
Dermatologists are qualified to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases of the skin, hair, nails, oral cavity (mouth) and genitals.
What should I be looking for in checking my own skin?
The Skin Cancer College of Australasia recommends that once a month you “SCAN” your skin looking for spots or moles that are:
SORE – A spot which is sore (scaly, itchy, bleeding or tender) and doesn’t heal within 6 weeks
CHANGING – In appearance (size, shape, colour or texture)
ABNORMAL – Looks different, feels different, or stands out when compared to other spots and moles (e.g. the ‘Ugly Duckling’ – see below)
NEW – Spots that have appeared recently
Ugly ducklings: Most moles and spots on your body are the same or are similar-looking to each other. Compare your spots with other spots on your body. If any mole or spot stands out or looks noticeably different from that of surrounding spots, it is the “Ugly Duckling”, and should be checked.
Where can I find the Firstcheck App?
Is the Firstcheck App easy to use?
The app guides you step-by-step through the process with useful tips along the way. The Firstcheck website (www.firstcheck.me) also has how-to videos and guides if you would like more information.
Do I send 3 photos of one spot - or 3 photos of different spots?
The Firstcheck App guides you step-by-step to take three photos of the same spot from different distances. Additional photos can be taken using the Firstcheck dyplens™ (for a highly-magnified and specialised skin imaging).
Your chosen skin cancer doctor will then reply back to you via the app. That’s one consultation.
What makes for good photos?
Our smartphones are pretty clever these days and good at automatically snapping good photos. You’re of course aiming for sharp, focussed, non-blurred photos taken in good light. ‘Tap to focus’ is a great feature found on many smart devices. Check out these photo taking tips to help ensure you capture what your doctor needs to see.
Why use the Firstcheck dyplens?
Your smartphone photos are a great source of information about your skin – and many clinicians use smartphones for clinical photography.
Skin specialists also use specialised magnifying tools (dermoscopes) and are trained in interpreting highly-magnified skin images to help distinguish harmless spots from skin cancer.
The Firstcheck dyplens™ (a specialised smartphone skin imaging lens) is a specialised skin magnifier enabling highly-magnified and detailed skin photography through a smartphone. Just attach it over your smartphone camera to capture highly-magnified images with detail you have to see to believe – and the doctors have a trained eye to interpret that detail.
Firstcheck is putting the power of technology into your hands – not just those of doctors – to empower you to take initiative around your skin health.
How do I use the Firstcheck SkinScope (1st generation version)?
When prompted in the Firstcheck App:
- Lift the lid on the SkinScope™, exposing the adhesive / sticky surface.
- Stick the SkinScope™ directly over the smartphone camera lens.
- Apply a small amount of fluid (e.g. oil, water or hand sanitiser) to the area you’re going to photograph (see the ‘How it Works‘ page).
- Press the SkinScope™ directly down on to your moistened skin. Pressed to your skin, the image is optimally focussed, “camera shake” is avoided and any air bubbles in the fluid are removed.
- Simply take the photo on your device as normal (using the ‘tap to focus’ feature) making sure you are in well-lit area.
You can also watch a video of the SkinScope™ in action on our How it Works page.
How do I use the Firstcheck dyplens (2nd generation version)?
Using your Firstcheck dyplens™ is simple:
- Clip the dyplens™ over the camera lens on your smartphone (or tablet).
- Depending on your smartphone’s protective case, you may need to remove it.
- Your smartphone camera will take it’s photo shooting through the dyplens™ lens.
- Apply a liquid to the skin over the mole or spot. Water is fine – and a light vegetable oil or hand sanitiser is even better. You should make your choice based on what is most appropriate for your skin so as not to irritate the skin. Lightly massage the liquid on the skin but leave a visible surface drop of liquid on the skin.
- Place the dyplens™ (now attached to your smartphone camera) directly on to the wet skin, so it is pressed against the mole / spot and pressed down on the drop of liquid. Pressing the dyplens™ to the skin ensures the right focal distance and creates the clearest images, removes any air bubbles in the liquid, and reduces surface light reflection from the skin.
- Ensure you are in good lighting.
- Ensure the photo is clearly focussed on the mole / spot (tap where the mole / spot appears on your phone’s screen to prompt your phone to focus on that spot).
- Keeping still hands to avoid blur, take a photo using your smartphone camera, as you normally would. You may like to use the timer function on your smartphone to automatically take a photo after 3-seconds so you can focus on holding your smartphone steady.
It’s that easy!
Is it a person (or some kind of computer algorithm) that’s checking my case?
Firstcheck reviews are conducted by registered local doctors with skin cancer expertise. You can review the doctor’s profile and qualifications in-app providing you with assurance and peace of mind. These are doctors that you could otherwise make an appointment to see in-clinic.
How much does it cost?
The in-app consultations with your selected skin cancer doctor are commonly $19.95. Each doctor may set their own price and so pricing is subject to change. The current pricing is always displayed alongside the doctors’ profiles in the App.
When will I get my results?
Your doctor will respond within 72 hours.
How will I get my results?
You will receive a notification (by email and smartphone notification) that your results are available to view in your Firstcheck app within the ‘My Records’ section. Simply log in and review your results. When installing and using Firstcheck for the first time, remember to accept smartphone notifications from Firstcheck.
What are the payment options in-app?
You simply pay via PayPal or credit card. Just follow the steps in the app.
You can also pay with a coupon code that you may have.
What if the doctor detects something of concern?
The report you receive back from the doctor will guide you should any follow-up be required. You are then responsible for following up on that advice and arranging any necessary follow-up treatments or appointments.
What about full body skin checks?
A full body skin check by your GP, skin cancer clinic or dermatologist can also help detect early signs of skin cancer, complementing your regular self-checks.
It’s important to talk to your GP about your skin type and ask for advice on early detection. They can advise you on how frequently you should consider getting a full body skin check by a doctor to complement your regular self-checks.
A face-to-face visit with your doctor or dermatologist for a full body skin check is considered the ‘gold standard’ of ‘skin checks’, in part because there is an opportunity to inspect all of your skin.
What is a GP Skin Cancer Doctor?
GP Skin Cancer Doctors are medical doctors that have undertaken further training in skin cancer medicine and dermoscopy. Many of the Firstcheck GP Skin Cancer Doctors are accredited by the renowned Skin Cancer College Australasia. You can read about the doctor’s further training, extra qualifications and areas of speciality in their Firstcheck in-app profile and online.
Can I submit a consultation for my child?
Yes, you can submit a case on behalf of your child – with their consent.
We would like to arrange to provide our employees / members to use Firstcheck. What options are there?
Firstcheck can provide discount bulk coupon codes if you wish. Please contact us and we will create a package to suit your requirements.
Firstcheck SkinScope and dyplens – what’s the difference?
The dyplens is simply the second generation Firstcheck SkinScope. Both devices are specialised skin imaging magnifiers for smartphones and designed for use with the Firstcheck App. The dyplens attaches to your smartphone by clipping over your camera lens. See ‘how it works’ for instructional videos.
Have a question we haven’t answered? Send us a support request via our contact page and we’ll be back in touch.