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This New Photo App Can Help Doctors Brainstorm What, Exactly, That Weird Thing Growing on Your Leg Is

It's like Instagram but with rotting toes and tumors instead of filters

The Figure1 app. Seriously, just be glad we didn’t post some of the other photos. Photo: Figure1

Sometimes even doctors can’t figure out what the heck is wrong with you, and they need some outside opinions from their other doctor friends. Sure they can publish descriptions of your freaky medical mess in a scientific journal and get help that way, but that doesn’t really help you right now. To bring the magic of the social media era to the consultation room, there’s now a new iPhone app, Figure1, that lets doctors take photos of rashes and bumps and rotting toes and the rest of those weird-looking-brown-things-that-probably-shouldn’t-be-there.

It’s a social network for doctors, says the National Post. The photos could help educate doctors or doctors-in-training, or maybe get them to put their heads together and figure out what, exactly, is going on here.

The developers of Figure1 — named after the term for illustrations in scientific journals and text books — say they have also taken pains to protect the confidentiality of patients whose diseased and injured body parts appear online. A consent form is embedded in the app, as well as software that detects faces and automatically blacks them out.

We’ve looked through the app, and fair warning: It. Is. Disgusting. Bodies are weird.

Though Figure1 is intended for doctors, anyone can sign up and look around. Only doctors can post photos, though, so there’s no hoping to upload a snap of your weird rash and get a quick diagnosis that way. Back to self-diagnosing on WebMD it is.

Photo: Memebase

More from Smithsonian.com:

This Photo Gallery Can Help ID All Those Weird Bones the Dog Brings In

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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