WHO launches new version of WHO Skin NTDs mobile application

The World Health Organization (WHO) is pleased to announce the release of an enhanced version of the Skin NTDs app. This app is a valuable tool designed to assist frontline healthcare workers in the diagnosis and management of skin-related neglected tropical diseases (cutaneous NTDs). The updated app is now available for free on both Android (here) and iOS (here) devices.

Users may need to remove previous versions from their devices to ensure a smooth installation.

This exciting development is the result of a collaboration between WHO and No Leprosy Left (NLR). NLR generously transferred SkinApp’s content, including information about skin NTDs, 24 common skin diseases, and some HIV-associated skin diseases, to the WHO Skin NTD app. This collaboration has created a comprehensive and easy-to-use resource that is in line with the latest WHO recommendations.

Key features of the updated app include:

  1. Logical offline algorithm: The app works offline and employs logical algorithms to help healthcare professionals make accurate diagnosis and treatment decisions.
  2. Multilingual support: The app is available in English and French, but we plan to explore translations into other languages, such as Portuguese and Spanish, to better serve our diverse communities.
  3. Learning resources: The app includes a “Skin NTDs Learning” section, which provides valuable training material for frontline healthcare workers. This content is based on the WHO manual. Recognizing neglected tropical diseases through skin changes: A training guide for frontline health workers.
  4. Cutting-edge AI integration (beta): In addition to the public version, WHO is working with Universal Doctor and Belle.ai to develop a beta version of the app. This version incorporates two online artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms that can instantly classify photos of skin lesions. Field tests are planned in selected countries to evaluate the usability and performance of these AI algorithms in real-world situations. AI has the potential to significantly enhance healthcare and medical practice worldwide. However, its beneficial impact will only be fully realized if ethical and human rights principles are placed at the center of its development, implementation and use.

“This software application quickly provides healthcare professionals with actionable information about a specific disease, including its clinical characteristics, treatment protocols, and geographic prevalence.” explained Dr. Jose Postigo, medical officer for the WHO Global Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme, who works on skin NTDs. “Accessing an interactive menu and a few clicks is enough for healthcare professionals to identify the most common skin conditions.”

“The WHO Skin NTDs app represents an important step forward in the fight against NTDs that affect the skin. By providing healthcare workers with a robust and accessible tool, WHO is strengthening early detection and improving treatment. and ultimately improve the lives of people affected by these diseases.” Dr. Kingsley Asiedu, Skin NTD Team Leader, WHO Global Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme, added:

WHO encourages all users to download the app, share it within their networks, and provide valuable feedback for continuous improvement. Together, we will be able to provide frontline healthcare workers with the knowledge and resources they need to effectively fight skin NTDs.

Please see our Skin NTDs page for more information.

Please send comments and suggestions to [email protected].

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