We love apps. My kids have Twisty Road, Boggle, Helix Jump, and their favorite, 2048.
But they were a bit perplexed when I downloaded an app for them — for all of us, really — about skin care.
Yep, there is an app for all things skin conditions. It’s like a dermatological dream! Except I learned early on that my littles don’t have the same fascination about all things medical, especially gross skin medical stuff, that I do. Don’t get me wrong, they love to tell me about all their various bug bites, blisters, rashes, and random marks, but they just don’t want to see it and talk about it UP CLOSE.
I was excited to try Aysa because it seemed like the perfect little accessory to my daily dose of checking my kiddos’ skin stuff. I finally had an answer to their daily question. “Mommy, what is this red itchy blotch on my wrist?” “Well, honey, let’s take a picture through Aysa and find out!”
First up was my daughter Mira. She has had a few little bumps near her eyes for a while. I’ll save the reader the gory details like the pus on the top of each bump. We can leave that for another day. I knew, from sending her to the MD a while back, that it was mollescum contagiosum but wanted to test out the super skin sleuthing of Aysa.
Sure enough, Aysa got the diagnosis correct!
The cool thing about this app is that you only have to take a picture of the affected area and then you answer a few questions (such as whether it’s itchy, what color it is, and if there is an associated fever or other symptoms). Then the app gets to work through machine learning and its deep knowledge base. When the results come in, the app shows you several options of what it could be, and the user picks which it is closest to based on photos and associated symptoms. You can set up user profiles for each person in your household.
Obviously, one should not use this app to diagnose, and the company is clear about following up with a professional MD to get a proper diagnosis. But it actually helps reduce some anxiety about what it COULD be. As a former WebMD user, I know it’s easy to get frightened by all the would bes and what ifs.
All in all, I thought it was a very well designed and user-friendly app with the possibility for daily use, depending on your family’s own level of hypochondriasis. I kid, I kid.
I created “case studies” for all three of my girls, and we had a lot of fun with it. Two of my girls loved researching the myriad skin conditions Aysa provides info about. (My middle daughter, who, much like her father, gets queasy looking at anything medical, looked a little nauseous when prurigo nodularis popped up as the first option. She almost dry heaved upon gazing at photos of congenital melanocytic nevus and actually ran to her room after seeing what lichen simplex chronicus was all about.)
While I recognize my girls probably won’t end up being dermatologists when they grow up, we enjoyed the process and will definitely continue to use the app — for the whole family.
I’ll just refrain from showing them the results.
(The app is currently available for free download at askaysa.com or through your app store on your iPhone.)