Sinclair Cares: Wearable UV Sensor
July is UV Awareness Month, so it's a good time to show you a new, wearable device that's about to hit the market.
The device will tell you exactly how much UV exposure you're getting.
In this installment of our Sinclair Cares report, Emily Baucum shows why doctors say this is a game changer to prevent skin cancer.
Patient Adria Hall grew up in the sun; from softball to working as a lifeguard, she was always outside.
Although Hall's mother always wore sunscreen, she did not.
"We resisted. We were like, nobody wears sunscreen. It's so crazy," said Hall.
But the sun left its mark. About four years ago doctors told her a spot on her arm was melanoma and she needed surgery.
Not too far from her Chicago home at Northwestern University, an entire lab is dedicated to a new device to prevent skin cancer.
It's the first battery-free, wearable, electronic UV sensor and it's expected to be in stores next year.
John Rogers is a professor at Northwestern University and said "They're calling it UV Sense."
The team at Northwestern partnered with L'Oreal Cosmetics to design UV Sense to connect to a smartphone app.
The app will show in real time how much sun you've really had.
"UV light is the most serious carcinogen and melanoma is the most widespread cancer in the U.S.," said Professor Rogers.
"If people have more information as it pertains to the extent of exposure to UV rays in the sun, then they're in a better position to react."
Dr. Steve Xu with Northwestern University said, "Right now, the alert is guess what? A sunburn. And that's too late. So the idea with the sensor is to be able to give you an early warning system. Be able to take control and ownership of your activities outside."
Adria Hall hopes the device will keep her accountable while she's enjoying the outdoors.
"If it beeps and says you've been in the sun too long, that will make me aware. That will make me reapply SPF50 sunscreen. I think it's a great idea," said Hall.