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Coming Soon: A Wearable Sensor that Measures Sun Exposure

How much sun is too much?

At Price Skin Care Clinic of Madison, Mississippi, we encourage our patients to take every precaution against excessive exposure to the sun. But how do you know when you’ve had enough sun and are in danger of overexposure?

“Even if you avoid the sun during peak times of the day and wear plenty of SP-30 sunscreen, you can still get too much,” says Richard Price, MD. “It can be especially deceiving when you’re out on a cloudy day or even snow skiing. The sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can wreak havoc on your skin without you even knowing it.”

Now, you have to wear plenty of sunscreen, limit your time outdoors and hope for the best.

But soon, with the release of a new wearable sun sensor, you will be able to monitor your exposure to the sun and know when to take action to protect yourself.

The UV Sense
L’Oreal worked with Professor John A. Rogers of Northwestern University to create ‘UV Sense,’ a tiny wearable device that measures the amount of UV ray exposure. Linked with an app on your phone, the sensor takes the guessing out of how much sun you’ve been exposed to and let’s you know when it’s time to go indoors.

The button-size wearable is:

  • Less than two millimeters thick and nine millimeters in diameter
  • Waterproof and can be attached to almost any part of the body or clothing
  • Designed to be worn for up to two weeks on the thumbnail.
  • Comes with replaceable adhesives, so you can reuse it and even snap it onto other items, like a watch or sunglasses
  • Powered by the user’s phone
  • Activated by UVA and UVB rays

During a test launch of a similar product in 2016, L’Oréal proved that information is indeed power. More than one million sun sensor patches were distributed free to consumers in 37 countries. After wearing the patch, 34 percent of the test users reported that they applied sunscreen more often, and 37 percent reported that they tried to stay in the shade more often.

Available in 2019
Although UV Sense is available on a limited basis in the U.S. this summer, a global launch is planned for 2019.  According to one source, the sensor will be available for under $50.00.

“This breakthrough technology could be very helpful in preventing sunburns and skin cancers,” says Dr. Price. “We look forward to learning more about the UV Sense and encouraging our patients to use it to reduce their risks of overexposure.”


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