Can IPhone Match Dermatoscope for Nailbed Exams?

December 16, 2014
Lois Wingerson

TechTalk: In a recent Twitter exchange, rheumatologists discussed the potential of the Olloclip, a newly updated IPhone 6 lens, for on-the-spot clinical imaging.

Rheumatologists checking out the potential of the IPhone for diagnostic imaging have been sharing the results on Twitter. (For those not yet watching the social media network, here's a glimpse of the idea-sharing that goes on there.)

"Hey @DrBhana, my @olloclip for iPhone 6 just arrived. Fun!" tweeted Sam Whittle MD of Adelaide, Australia, to a rheumatologist contact, Suleman Bhana MD of Middletown, New York, early one morning (New York time) a few weeks ago.

"Here are [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"30203","attributes":{"alt":"dermatoscope","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_1259684625373","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"3156","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"width: 228px; height: 303px; float: right;","title":" ","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]my wonky nail fold capillaries," he added, posting the image at right.

"That's great Sam," wrote back Philip Robinson MD from Brisbane. "Is that the maximum magnification?"

"You can add the digital magnification from the iPhone for another 2x or 3x," replied Bhana, about 90 minutes later.

"Is it good enough to get a good idea about SSc nail bed caps?" asked Robinson a few minutes later.

"I believe so, yes." Bhana responded. "It's cheaper and higher mag than a standard DermLite."

(The Olloclip 4-in-1 lens for IPhone6 sells for $79.99 on the Apple Store. A DermaLite DL1 with a 10 mm lens sold for $990 on Amazon at the time of this writing.)

"Performance def seems good for the price," Whittle chipped in about an hour later, abbreviating in Twitterspeak. "Looking forward to trying on a few patients this week."

At last report, though, Whittle hasn't had much time to test it with patients. "Need to try better lighting," he wrote, and posted the example below.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"30208","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"529","id":"media_crop_7400197688982","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"3158","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","title":" ","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"399"}}]]