New iPhone App Designed to Prevent Skin Cancer

Dennis Faas's picture

In Australia, more than 1,850 people succumb to skin cancer each year -- more than the number of those killed in road accidents. Researchers believe that close to two-thirds of all Australian youths will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. (Source:

Now, in an effort to reach out to this generation and save a few lives in the process, a new iPhone application has been released, providing current weather forecasts and the maximum ultraviolet levels expected for the day.

Temperature and UV Rays Difficult to Discern

In a recent report, Sue Heward, SunSmart Manager at Cancer Council, explained that most people look to weather patterns when determining the need for sun protection: "What we are finding is that a lot of people are using temperatures and weather to predict when they need sun protection, but it is really the ultraviolet (UV) rays that are the problem -- and you cannot see or feel them."

UV Level Tracking Via GPS

The iPhone app, which was created by SunSmart, hopes to make individuals aware of the growing endemic. It boasts an alert function that uses global positioning systems (GPS) to automatically adjust to the location of the user, showing them the times when sun protection is crucial. It also tracks up-to-the-minute UV levels and sends out an automated UV warning when the sun reaches peak temperatures.

According to Heward, the ease in access to such life-saving information is perhaps the most appealing feature of the new app. "The nice thing about the app is that it is in your pocket; you do not have to go to your computer or open up a paper to check (ultraviolet levels)."

The service is especially useful for those working outdoors for long periods of time. (Source:

The SunSmart app is available for free download here.

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