I am delighted to announce we have just upgraded our fotofinder service to use the latest whole body and class leading device – the 4th generation ATBM.

This new machine uses laser guided automated photograph and the latest artificial intelligence to track your moles over time.

Moles that have not changed between visits are identified and can be removed from the map to focus on the “yellow” ringed changing moles or the “red” ringed new moles. High powered close ups using the latest version of the Medicam is more focused on the higher risk lesions.

So who is the service aimed at and is it right for you? Anyone can make use of this new service but those likely to benefit the most are:

  • Anyone with lots of moles, especially if they are larger or atypical in shape  (we worry more about flat moles than raised ones!)
  • Anyone who has lived abroad or worked outdoors or spends a number of weeks a year on holiday in hot countries
  • Anyone with a history of skin cancer or sun damage related lesions
  • Anyone with fair skin, especially if they have had episodes of sun burn
  • Anyone with a family history of melanoma or skin cancers
  • Anyone who is taking immunosuppressive medication or are immunosuppressed for other reasons

If you are not sure, feel free to make an enquiry or start with a routine whole body skin check first and we can advise you if you would benefit from this for ongoing surveillance. We are not a commercial clinic and really want to focus this on clinical need.

How does the mole mapping service run?

Most of the scans are carried out by a highly trained physician associate who has a diploma in dermoscopy and works in our NHS skin cancer clinics. The consultants will review the images either on the same day or within 5 working days and we will let you know when we have done this. We will also recommend any specific treatment and the review period. A reminder can be set up to text you when your next scan is due. Your images are stored on the machine for future comparisons. If you move out of the region these can be exported onto a USB for a fee to cover the time and USB stick and your images will work in any other Fotofinder ATBM anywhere in the world. We can also import images from another Fotofinder clinic.

Do I have to do anything before coming and what should I wear?

You must avoid fake tan and remove jewellery and watches. If you have dry skin then apply a moisturiser all over before leaving home. Men who are very hairy should shave those areas eg chest or back hair; Hair confuses the AI and will alter the results. The best images are taken by being photographed in just your underwear/pants. The majority of scans are carried out by female operatives, other than those done in my general clinic. The back and chest are best imaged without a bra. You can still wear a bra if you feel more comfortable but those areas will not be visualised by the system. Men should ideally wear brief type pants and avoid long boxer shorts. Hair should be tied back and off the face.

What does this cost?

This is more expensive that the previous charge for manual mole mapping but this reflects the capital outlay and ongoing maintenance and running costs and is very competitively priced at the bottom of the range for this type of device. There are many inferior types of mole mapping being advertised and some well known franchises may use a similar looking machine but without the high powered dermoscopy being part of the service. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for! The cost of mole mapping is £350.

Are follow ups cheaper?

At each visit you get a new whole body scan so the machine can compare to the previous visits. Follow up visits and the consultant reviews of images can take up to 50% longer than the baseline depending on how many moles need to be reviewed. We use the same equipment, same staff, pay the same room rental and have the same overheads and therefore we charge the same for each episode.