If your job requires you to stay outdoors for long, having this app on your smartphone that provides personalised, real-time advice may improve your sun protection behaviour, says a study.
The Solar Cell app provides sun-protection advice based on UV (ultraviolet) Index forecasts and personal information from the users. It also alerts users to apply or reapply sunscreen.
“The Solar Cell mobile app seemed to promote sun protection practices,” the authors noted.
The researchers conducted a clinical trial to evaluate the mobile app by collecting data from a volunteer sample of 202 adults.
Of the 96 participants assigned to use the mobile app, 74 individuals (77 percent) used it.
The authors found that participants in the group that received the app used wide-brimmed hats more at the seven-week follow-up than control participants who did not receive the app (23.8 percent vs. 17.4 percent).
Women who used the app also reported more use of all sun protection (such as sunscreen, protective clothing and shade) combined than men (46.4 percent vs. 43.3 percent).
The Solar Cell app was developed by Klein Buendel Inc under a contract with the National Cancer Institute.
The study was published online in the journal JAMA Dermatology.
Buller DB, Berwick M, Lantz K, et al. Smartphone Mobile Application Delivering Personalized, Real-Time Sun Protection Advice: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Dermatol. Published online January 28, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.3889.