[Q] Why is it important to look after your health (and that of your team)?
[A] Because ultimately it’ll save you time, money, a lot of heartache – and possibly your life.
“Since the job of an entrepreneur is to create wealth, then staying healthy is a critical part of the entrepreneur’s plans. To this end, constant self care is good business practice… The earlier you detect a health challenge, the less complicated [and less expensive] it is to deal with it.” 3 Reasons Entrepreneurs Need Better Self-Care
In other words, if you don’t have the time to be sick, you have to make the time to be healthy … and the good news that it doesn’t have to be hard or to take long. Particularly when it comes to skin cancer.
Managing a virtual team, it’s super important to me that both my team and I are healthy (and happy!). So when I come across an app or tool that helps us do that I’m always going to share it with my team … and you. We ‘talk the talk’ about how important wellbeing is to company culture, we also need to ‘walk the walk’!
- NZ has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world
- 69,000 Kiwis are diagnosed with skin cancer every year.
- Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer but, if detected early enough, 90% of melanoma can be treated successfully.
- “The cost of diagnosing and treating [melanoma] averages $1,681 per patient [when detected early]. However, we estimated the costs of treating advanced stage melanomas…to be $164,235 per patient, in the first year alone.” The Sydney Morning Herald
- “The overall costs for melanoma are just the tip of the iceberg, with hundreds of thousands of Australians [and New Zealanders] being treated each year for other…skin cancers” The Sydney Morning Herald
- Fewer than 5% of Kiwis are getting checked as often as they should. You and your team are therefore highly unlikely to be getting the ‘real time’ skin checks you ought to.
- “14 days: The time frame in which melanoma should be diagnosed and treated after being noticed by a patient to ensure the best survival. A U.K. study found a 20% higher chance that a person will be alive five years later if a melanoma is caught in this window. [It] can be the difference between life and “there’s nothing we can do.”” Women’s Health: Melinda Wenner Moyer
- However, studies show that patients typically take 12 months to present to their doctor with a suspicious lesion they’ve noticed (as they ‘put it off’).
- “The impact of cancer looks set to continue to grow for organisations in the decades ahead. Experts predict continued growth in the numbers of the working population affected by cancer… For employers, the growing incidence of cancer in the workforce risks leading to reduced productivity, low morale and increased costs.” Cancer in the Workplace is an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report, sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
- “Occupational health and safety legislation requires employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace, have systems of work that are without risks to health and to provide workers with information, instruction and training about hazards and risks. It also requires workers to monitor the health of workers. In regards to health monitoring of skin cancer, this entails employers giving workers specific information about the risk. Employers whose workers are exposed to UV radiation may provide regular skin checks for these workers. However, skin cancer can develop rapidly. As part of their obligations on this risk to health, employers should provide workers with information on how they can check their own skin for any suspicious spots.” SunSmart Australia
- Firstcheck is making it easier than ever to get checked. The Firstcheck app offers you and your team convenient and cost-effective mole and lesion checks by New Zealand skin specialists – no matter where you are (in NZ & AU), via your smartphone or tablet.
- The Firstcheck SkinScope is a registered medical device in NZ & Australia. It fits over your smartphone or tablet camera lens and enables you to take high-quality 20x magnified dermoscopic images that make it easier to diagnose melanoma and skin cancers, and to sort the simple from the sinister. The Firstcheck SkinScope pairs with the Firstcheck app. Together they turn your smartphone or tablet into a personal skin monitoring device, with specialist advice at the touch of a button.
- So now you can check yourself from the comfort of home (or the office!), and send in any concerns to a skin cancer specialist as and when you notice something new or changing.
- “Save Your Life – Catch Melanoma Early! When we think of melanoma prevention, we often think of the usual: using sunscreen, covering up, not burning, avoiding tanning beds, etc. But did you know that finding a suspicious mole or spot and having it checked out by a professional is considered one of the most important steps to preventing melanoma? Detecting melanoma when it’s early enough to treat could mean the difference between life and a life-threatening illness. If you see something, don’t be afraid to say something! Too often we notice a suspicious mole on ourselves or someone else, yet we don’t make it a priority to get it checked out. As many patients and survivors have recounted, their melanoma was found by a friend or a partner who happened to notice something different – and urged them to see a dermatologist. It helps to know the symptoms of melanoma, but it’s not required – if any mole is changing, you should have it checked out. Catching melanoma in its earliest stages is one of the most important factors in improving the prognosis (or outcome) of a melanoma diagnosis.” Melanoma Research Foundation
- Now smartphones are powerful enough, doctors themselves use them for this exact purpose (they call it “teledermatology”), and we can extend this technology and tools direct to you as a “patient” – to make a real difference in the fight against skin cancer.
- Firstcheck has been named a finalist in the New Zealand Innovation Council Awards – “Start-Up Innovation of The Year” for 2017. The NZ Innovation Council says the awards are recognising “truly world-changing innovations”.
- It takes less than 5 minutes to submit a case to your skin specialist via Firstcheck – and you receive a specialist opinion back within hours. (72 hours is the maximum).
- It reduces travel time to attend unnecessary in-patient appointments with specialists, which saves both time and money for the patient. (And time and money are two of the reported barriers to patients getting skin checks currently).
- It reaches patients who are not currently receiving skin check advice. In NZ fewer than 4% of people are getting annual full body skin checks. 90% of people currently having full body skin checks are reported to be the “worried well” and not those at elevated risk of skin cancer. So, many of those who are at the highest risk of skin cancer are not getting the timely specialist advice they need.
- It encourages a proactive approach to wellness, as opposed to the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. “For most people, self skin-checks done every 1–3 months is all that is needed to pick up early signs of skin cancer and melanoma.” (DermNet New Zealand)
- As well as being an outstanding tool for consumers, businesses are already adopting Firstcheck to quickly and easily enhance their health and safety programmes. It’s as simple as providing the Firstcheck tools for their employees to check any skin concerns with a New Zealand-based skin specialist – without needing to take time off work. The app also contains guidelines to help employees to know what to look for when checking their skin – which SunSmart Australia recommend as part of an employer’s “duty of care”).
- Firstcheck is helping businesses to add to health and safety provisions for staff (with little cost or effort) while also enhancing your status as a caring employer or ‘employer of choice’.
- Happy and healthy teams mean better results for everyone.
Check it out now and stay skin healthy…
Firstcheck app =
- Free to download
- Free to use for DIY mole-mapping (to keep an eye on your skin over time)
- Only pay $19.95 when you want a skin cancer specialist to check a mole or spot
- Download for free from App Store or Google Play.
Firstcheck SkinScope™ (registered medical device) =
- One-off cost of $26.04 + GST (including delivery)
- Firstcheck can discount bulk coupon codes or SkinScope orders, creating a package to suit your team.
Peace of mind = priceless
You can also find out more on the Firstcheck website.