Scientists from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, have developed the world’s smallest wearable, an ultraviolet ray sensor capable of preventing sunburn and measuring phototherapy doses in treatments for chronic skin diseases.

The most impressive thing about the new device is its small size, which is comparable to the size of an M & M chocolate chip or the size of a fingernail. In addition, the sensor is thinner than a credit card and, according to scientists, can work for years without suffering any damage. According to the official website of Northwestern University, the device has already been tested in humans and demonstrated its ability to identify exposure to light in multiple wavelengths, including in underwater environments.

The First Wearable Used to Improve Phototherapy Treatments

In addition, this new sensor was especially useful in improving the accuracy of phototherapy treatments in health conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, neonatal jaundice or seasonal affective disorders.

On the other hand, the sensor also demonstrated its capabilities to accurately measure exposure to UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays in people at high risk of developing melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer. In addition, in the case of recreational users, the sensor can help prevent sunburn by sending warnings.

UV sensor wearable

To demonstrate the durability of the sensor, the professor put it in boiling water and in a simulated washing machine, and after all this, the sensor continued to function without problems. Under the name of ” My Skin Track UV “, a modified version of this sensor capable of identifying and measuring UVA rays is already on sale in collaboration with L’Oreal and La Roche-Posay.

This modified version of the sensor can already help men and women to measure exposure to ultraviolet rays, as well as pollution levels, pollen, and humidity in the environment. The My Skin Track UV is already on sale on the web and several Apple Store in the United States. Its official price is $ 59.95. Its launch took place at the end of November, so for the moment, it is not known if it will also reach Europe.

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Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world. It is estimated that at least one person dies every hour due to melanoma. For this reason, it is very important that people are kept informed at all times about the exposure they receive from sunlight.