Programmer, Vietnam War veteran and information technology entrepreneur Steven Palmer is the winner of a $10,000 prize funded by the West Wireless Health Institute in conjunction with the Veterans Affairs Department for developing a mobile-phone application to help patients with the early detection of melanoma, the institute has announced.
Palmer, a melanoma survivor who has a doctoral degree in science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, worked to develop the application with Dr. Martin Weinstock, a professor of dermatology and community health at the Alpert Medical School, Brown University, and chief of dermatology for the VA Medical Center in Providence, R.I. Palmer founded Alternate Universe Technologies in Providence to market his smart-phone applications.
The software, used together with a card placed on the skin around a mole, enables individuals to take color-balanced photographs of the mole or moles and store the images for comparison over time to note changes in size, shape or color. The application lets users transmit visual information to a dermatologist for evaluation.
"I share in (the institute's and the department's) belief that 21st-century technologies are giving rise to new, far-reaching paradigms for doctor-patient interaction that will enhance the delivery of medical care and provide better outcomes for us all," Palmer said in the release.