Two out of three Australians will develop skin cancer before turning 70, with research showing the majority of sun damage occurs during childhood and adolescence.
University of Queensland student Alana Clover has decided to do something about it.
The Bachelor of Engineering (Software) and Bachelor of Business Management (E-Business) student is designing and building a wrist-band that monitors UV exposure.
“The device will connect to a web application and provide sun exposure levels in real time,” she said.
“When children are wearing the device, parents or carers will get alerts if there are dangerous levels of UV exposure.
“Encouraging sun safe behaviour is imperative if we want to lower skin cancer rates.”
The device uses an infrared light sensor and a visible light sensor to calculate the UV Index and a warning system software to send a tailored message to the user.
Now half way through a year-long thesis project, Alana has developed the idea into a working prototype.
She has partnered with the Cancer Council Queensland to test and fine-tune the device.
“Hopefully wearing a device like this will not only encourage sun-safe behaviour, but also instil that practice for life.”
Alana will graduate mid next year and plans to work in enterprise software development and project management.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the organisation was excited to partner with UQ and Alana, and believed Queensland children would benefit from the device.
“Helping children understand UV levels and how to stay SunSmart is crucial in reducing their risk of skin cancer long term,” she said