Learning from abroad:
Mole checking service in Norway, Italy, and soon to be in Spain, France
As part of a private service, a picture of the mole is taken in the pharmacy using advanced imaging technology via a HD camera used in the consultation room. A photograph is then sent to a dermatologist, via the internet, who analyses and writes a report to the patient informing them if the mole is at risk or not. Malignant melanoma incident rates have increased over recent years and by providing an early diagnosis, this service gives a unique opportunity for the customer to be cured from this disease and potentially saves lives.
This service was first implemented in Norway where c 90 Boots pharmacies offer a mole testing service and since they started the service in September 2010, they have scanned c 7500 moles. On average 10% of the moles tested have lead to further investigations. Following a recent advertising campaign to increase the awareness of the service, the number of scans has increased tremendously.
In Boots Norway, the customer is seen by a qualified personnel who sees customers either by drop-in or by appointment in just a few minutes. The customer can be confident the result from the dermatologists will be as accurate as if he went to a GP directly.
This is another great example of the expanding future role of the pharmacist and the increasing range of services provided in a community pharmacy.