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  • Ivan Bristow

The Heine Delta One Dermatoscope - a game changer in Dermoscopy?

There are many dermatoscopes on the market and if you have attended a dermoscopy course you will see there are several devices particularly suitable for podiatry use. Some of these I have reviewed (see the dermoscopy section of this website). In October, Heine introduced the brand-new Delta One Dermatoscope (see the Youtube promotional video here) which promises to bring a compact portable device together with optical precision and clarity – so does it live up to these claims? In this blog, I will review this new dermatoscope.

Figure 1 - The Delta One in its supplied case

First Look

The first thing to say is that this device is designed to be mobile, fitting easily into a pocket (measuring 128mm x 57mm x 40mm) so yes, as the manufacturers claim, it is entirely portable. The construction and design make it look and feels like a quality product. Compared with the Opticular compact it is streets ahead on its overall feel and aesthetics. The case provided with the Delta One is sturdy and professional looking.


The device is switched on and off by pressing the large square button on the front (Figure 1). As with all dermatoscopes these days it can provide both polarised and non-polarised light which is useful for examining certain features within lesions. The two light source modes are easily interchanged by pressing a button located on the side (Figure 2). An adjacent blue light indicates when it is in a polarised light setting.

Figure 2 : The black button on the side switches between polarised and non-polarised settings (the adjacent light is illuminated blue when in polarised mode)

In addition, the Delta One has three light intensity settings allowing the user to turn up or down the brightness, in both polarised or non-polarised mode. This is a great touch not seen on similar devices which aids lesion illumination (figure 3).

Figure 3 : The button here toggles through 3 levels of light intensity in both polarised and non-polarised settings

What makes this dermatoscope special is the visual aspects. It has a good focus with a +/- 4 dioptre focus ring so this should be more than sufficient to accommodate most peoples vision when looking through the lens. The viewing area on this device is an impressive 21 mm in diameter one of the largest around. The lens has the usual measuring graticule as found on other devices but also includes a little triangle – this can be useful for orientating the image (figure 4) .

Where the device really shows its class is through the clarity of optics. Driven by 12 LEDS, I have to say, the Delta One does not disappoint and provides one of the clearest and sharpest images I have seen. The colour rendering is excellent.

Figure 4 : The visual clarity on the new Delta One does not disappoint*.

Figure 5: 12 LEDs which provide the lighting source

The addition, a small lesion plate is always a must for podiatrists so that lesions between the toes can be accessed and visualised, something which is not available on the current Dermalite range but is on the Opticlar Compact. The Delta One lens plates are easily removed for switching and cleaning.

As with all dermatoscopes, the ability to take a picture is key and virtually all of us do this using our phones. At the moment, there is an adaptor for the Delta One to fit the I-phone range (6,7,8 and X models) and for other makes there is a Universal adaptor available.

The device is charged via a USB cable (micro USB port) and takes about 75 minutes to fully charge. The manufacturers suggest that one charge should be enough for 50 hours of clinical use. I have never had a problem with this, but its good to know there is a long battery life if I forget to charge it once or twice.

The device comes complete with the Heine Derm App which allows the user “place” an image on a virtual body map and quickly record patients’ details on the smartphone app. For the podiatrist it probably needs some tweaking as the area provided for the foot is small and there is no zoom in function to record multiple lesions, so at the moment I think the app is more of an extra then a necessity. Additionally, this is only available as an Apple App so not so good for all the android users out there.

So what are the costs? **

Heine Delta One (black): £778.90

Heine Delta One (white): £815.60

Small lesion plate: £118.35

I-phone Camera Adaptor: £44.95

Universal phone Adaptor: £26.60 (all prices are exclude VAT)

With VAT, a full kit with adaptor and small lesion plate will set you back around £1108 pounds. As I always say to colleagues. You should only buy a dermatoscope once, as they should last your career. So make sure it’s the one you want. My top tip is buy one at a dermoscopy event (see the events calendar) as they are always offered at a discount rate at these events (usually 10% - which will save you over £100).

If you compare its price to, for podiatrists, what I believe to be its closest priced competitor - the Opticlar Compact, a full kit including the Opticlar, camera adaptor and small lesion plate would cost around £50 more. On that basis in my opinion, the Heine Delta One would easily win on price, quality of build and visual clarity. Its price is also well below the 3GEN Dermlite 4.

The Bottom Line

The Heine Delta One is certainly now the market leader for podiatry use, as it offers everything that is needed for podiatry applications but most importantly, image clarity is excellent. The price of the full kit (dermatoscope, phone adaptor and small lesion plate) means it is competitively priced - cheaper than the Opticlar Compact exceeding it on design, build, visual image quality and most importantly, cost.

The device can be purchased in the UK from:**

*Please note, at the time of writing I did not have a photo adaptor so the image may not quite do the delta one justice. As soon as I have some more I will upload them

Authors Note: As with all the material on, this review is entirely of the authors opinion and written independently of any manufacturer or distributor.


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