How the Apple Watch Could Prevent (skin) Cancer

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As a leader in innovation, Apple has always pushed the boundaries of what technology can do and how it can be used. Now, it seems they’re taking another step towards creating a better and safer user experience with a watch that, among other things, can alert the wearer of too much ultraviolet (UV) exposure.

Details of a recently approved patent describe a “portable multifunction device” equipped with a “UV dosimeter function”. The sun’s rays do offer a number of health benefits, most importantly helping the body synthetize vitamin D, but they can also do harm causing skin cancer, skin aging, eye damage and possibly affecting the immune system, as the World Health Organization reports.

The device utilizes a UV light sensor to detect the user’s presence while outdoors and measure the cumulative outdoor exposure time. The cumulative UV exposure is optionally provided via a messaging service or alert, and a UV index value is optionally utilized with the cumulative outdoor exposure to determine the risk of skin damage and to provide user guidance relating to recommended protective measures. An ambient light sensor is optionally provided and is used to augment the UV light thresholds used to determine the light exposure state”.

It seems Apple is determined to continue its series of health-monitoring features, as their first generation of watches could monitor your heart rate, while the most recent version has an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor.

It’s not just the technical aspect of this gadget that should be noted, even just having a feature dedicated to letting the wearer know of a potential issue means creating awareness and possibly preventing countless cases of skin cancer. Additionally, the research put into creating the technology can be further used in other situations.

Having smart devices that improve our day-to-day lives means having a healthier and longer future.

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