Early identification and treatment of malignant melanoma is crucial to prevent mortality. The aim of this work was to describe the uptake, profile of users and service outcomes of a mole scanning service in the community pharmacy setting in the UK. In addition, health care costs saved from the perspective of general practice were estimated. The service allowed patients to have concerning skin lesions scanned with a dermatoscopy device which were analyzed remotely by clinical dermatology specialists in order to provide recommendations for the patient. Patients were followed up to ascertain the clinical outcome. Data were analyzed for 6355 patients and 9881 scans across 50 community pharmacies. The majority of the scans required no further follow-up (n = 8763, 88.7%). Diagnosis was confirmed for 70.4% (n = 757/1118) of scans where patients were recommended to seek further medical attention. Of these, 44.3% were ultimately defined as normal (n = 335) and 6.2% as malignant melanoma (n = 47/757). An estimated 0.7% of scans taken as part of the service led to a confirmed diagnosis of malignant melanoma. This service evaluation has shown that a mole scanning service available within community pharmacies is effective at triaging patients and ultimately playing a part in identifying diagnoses of malignant melanoma.
Keywords: dermatoscopy; melanoma; mole; pharmacy; scanning.