Skin care company unveils UV-tracking skin patch

Ultraviolet protection specialist La Roche-Posay is launching a stretchable skin sensor for the real-time monitoring of UV radiation in a bid to improve public awareness on personal sun exposure.

The device, My UV Patch, measures about one square inch and at 50 micrometers thick, is half the thickness of a strand of hair, the company said in a statement. Water- and sweat-resistant, it is intended to be used for up to three days during outdoor activities. Unlike other UV-tracking wearables, which are commonly wrist-worn, My UV Patch adheres directly to the skin. It will be available free of charge this summer, via La Roche-Posay's website or selected physicians.

The patch incorporates light-sensitive dyes and so, takes into account the user’s skin tone when measuring sun exposure, La Roche-Posay said in the statement. When exposed to UV rays, the patch will change color, depending on the level of sun exposure.

To track sun exposure over time, users may download the accompanying app. A user uploads a photo of the patch and the app will analyze the shades of the dye, calculating the amount of sun exposure he or she has accumulated since the patch was put on. In addition to skin tone, the analysis also factors in skin type, UV index in the user’s location and whether he or she applied sunscreen.

While La Roche-Posay found that 92% of participants in a global, 19,000-person study were aware of the health consequences of unprotected sun exposure, only 26% of Americans use sun protection year round. “With the new My UV Patch, for the first time, we are leveraging technology to help individuals manage their sun exposure behavior through real-time knowledge,” said Dr. Alysa Herman, a member of the University of Miami School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology faculty, in the statement.

- here's the statement

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