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Slip, slop, App: download SunVisor for Gold Coast sun safety

29th March 2018

The Gold Coast will be abuzz in April with athletes and visitors from around the world. QUT researchers have partnered with SunVisor to use the app’s AI (artificial intelligence) technology to provide personalised sun safe advice.

  • SunVisor receives real-time UV levels & tailors messages
  • App’s personalised messages advise on skin protection
  • App’s messages keyed with your location and skin type

Dr Elke Hacker, a public health researcher in QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said the live-UV data allowed accurate UV levels to be incorporated into the app, which delivers relevant health messages to users via their phone or smart watch.

    “For example, by allowing people to pinpoint their geographic location, whether they are at the beach or in a built up environment, and whether they have fair or dark skin. These details can be used to determine sunburn risk and provide personalised advice on protecting their skin,” Dr Hacker said.

    Dr Hacker said UV radiation or sunlight exposure was the main environmental risk factor for skin cancer and sunburn indicated the skin had received a damaging dose of sunlight.

    “We will test the SunVisor app during April when people in the Gold Coast area will likely be outdoors for extended periods watching sport,” she said

    “The app’s messages include: forecasts of the UV level so people can prepare for a hot day; reminders to take a break in the shade to avoid heat stress when UV is really high: and to don hat, sunnies, shirts and sunscreens to protect skin against burning.

    "They are sent throughout the day in tune with UV levels.

     “We will email participants an online survey to assess how effective the app’s messages were in helping them avoid sunburn and how satisfied they were with the app interface so that we can find out which messages work best to encourage sun safety.”

    Dr Hacker said the results of the study would help to further develop preventative healthcare and personalised medicine. Tailoring health programs to each individual’s needs.

    You can participate in this research if you are over 18 years old and own a smartphone.

    To take part in the study, email skntec@qut.edu.au or phone 3138 9674.

    QUT Media contacts:

    Niki Widdowson, 07 3138 2999 or n.widdowson@qut.edu.au

    After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901, or media@qut.edu.au.

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