The three m-health design characteristics for “good" mobile health apps

Something pretty exciting happened last month – well, for The Health Safari, anyway. We won the prize for best poster presentation at the Cancer Institute New South Wales’ (NSW’s) Innovation in Cancer Treatment and Care Conference. While we were delighted by this, we were not surprised at the level of healthcare professionals’ interest in our topic – how doctors can become frontline advisors to patients about their mobile health app decisions. Here’s why.


When Ebola is the lesser evil

The morning after I arrive in Uganda, I wake up to a newspaper being shoved under my door. I can see the headline from the bed. It reads “Ebola outbreak in Kibaale”, with "Ebola" rendered in two-inch high red letters. Kibaale is a district in Uganda about two hours’ drive from where I'm staying.


Extending survival: powerful late-stage melanoma drug being considered for inclusion in the PBS

About a quarter of an hour into our interview, Dr Georgina Long – a medical researcher at the Melanoma Institute Australia -  takes a phone call. We’re sitting in a pair of leather couches in a smallish meeting room, where Long has been talking intensely about a series of clinical trials the Institute has been running. The trials focus on medications like Vemurafenib, a new type of anti-cancer drug called a BRAF inhibitor. She gets up and moves to the far side of the room. I listen intently, while pretending to glance over my notes...


Reddit possibly diagnoses a melanoma from a post about a backslap

Candyflippr, a user on the enormously popular social content sharing site Reddit, didn’t realise that he was about to possibly save a friend’s life when he posted this picture in Reddit’s sometimes hilarious, sometimes troubling WTF forum. The picture shows a hand-print on a fair-skinned male’s back, after a particularly vicious backslap.

Then, things turned serious, as fellow Redditor Nanoo_1972 pointed out that just below the slap, there was what appeared...


SkinKeeper by the numbers: our journey through the app-making process

We were reflecting on the process of creating SkinKeeper...and it occurred to us that the story could be told in a narrative driven by numbers. Never one to shy away from novel forms of storytelling, we present: SkinKeeper by the Numbers ...


Australia's most populous state bans tanning beds

Something happened in the last few days that makes us at the Health Safari pretty happy: New South Wales’ Environment Minister Robyn Parker announced that solariums (or sunbeds or tanning beds or whatever you want to call them) are going to disappear from New South Wales – Australia’s most populous state - from New Years’ Eve, 2014. Tanning beds are a funny thing. They’re used to give people a healthy shade one associates with being outdoors. Yet, the appearance of health is dreadfully ...


Why we don't use "algorithms" to "diagnose" skin cancer

From the beginning, clinical safety was the biggest factor in how we went about designing the SkinKeeper app. We were adamant that we would (and have) create a service that: Does not replace skin assessments by an experienced health practitioner. Rather, we wanted something that would let you partner with your doctor to have a richer conversation. Does not make claims that it can technologically diagnose the potential of a mole being malignant. Rather, we wanted to help people simply capture photographs ...