A new paper wristband from Scotland's University of Strathclyde responds to UV light levels, turning from yellow to pink when the levels have reached their safe limit and thereby alerting the wearer to the danger of sunburn.
Often the best ideas are the simplest, and this is certainly true when it comes to innovations in monitoring a person’s health. A new innovation from Scotland’s University of Strathclyde comes in the form of a paper wristband that monitors UV light levels, turning from yellow to pink when the levels have reached their safe limit and thereby alerting the wearer to the danger of sunburn. In the words of Fiona Strang from the University of Stratchclyde, the band ‘will make a significant contribution to public health as an affordable, fashionable device which enables people to enjoy the benefits of the sun while at the same time keeping them alert to the risks of over-exposure.’ The band works by utilising an acid release agent, which decomposes when exposed to sunlight causing the band to change color. There are different bands available to suit different skin types – so a person with fairer skin will find that their band changes color quicker than someone who tans easily. While there are plenty of apps that offer reminders when it is time to reapply sunscreen, these simple wristbands ensure that everyone, not just those with smartphones, can stay safe in the sun. The band is currently being commercialised, with Swedish-based Intellego Technology preparing to make the product available for the market in spring 2013. Healthcare entrepreneurs – a lesson in the effectiveness of simplicity? Spotted by: Hemanth Chandrasekar