Anti-cancer wristband will help save your skin

BOFFINS in Glasgow have invented a waterproof wristband which warns wearers if they are at risk of skin cancer.

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Developed at Strathclyde University, the yellow band turns pink if the wearer is exposed to an excessive amount of ultra violet radiation while out in the sun.

The Smartsun product is being sold online.

Incidents of skin cancer have grown in recent years. The most virulent form is malignant melanoma. Detected cases are five times higher than 40 years ago, while the latest statistics show that the cancer resulted in 2209 deaths in 2011.

The wristband was developed by Professor Andrew Mills and Dr Michael McFarlane and is being marketed by Swedish-based firm Intellego Technologies, owned by entrepreneur Claes Lindahl.

Mr Lindahi said: "During the last two years the Smartsun wristband has gone through extensive testing and customer feedback in order to create a product with high functionality and ease of use."

Stuart Mackenzie, commercialisation infrastructure manager at the university, said: "Impact and innovation are at the heart of our research activity.

"Smartsun will continue this tradition as a protective and preventative device benefiting public health. We have high hopes for Intellego's future as it brings this technology to the UK and international market."

The product's launch comes at a time when more people are beating malignant melanoma. Cancer Research UK say nine out of 10 women and eight out of 10 men in Scotland now survive the disease.

Charity chiefs say improvements in treatment, earlier diagnosis and a better awareness of the symptoms have all combined to increase survival rates.

However, medics were forced to issue a public alert last summer of the dangers of sunburn when accident and emergency departments across Scotland had to deal with scores of people who had been badly burned during a hot spell.

The idea of the wristband was initially funded by the Proof of Concept programme run by Scottish Enterprise, which receives cash aid from the European Union.

The band contains an acid-release agent which rapidly disintegrates when the devise is exposed to excessive ultra violet light.

A pack of seven bands costs £6.99.

Meanwhile, the students' associations of Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian Universities have expanded their student support by adding a text service to their overnight helpline.

Nightline, a service run by volunteers, will support students who need help or advice out of hours.

The Nightline service has existed as a telephone helpline for over ten years. The text service is the first of its kind amongst student associations in Scotland and believed to be only the second in the UK.

gordon.thomson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Health

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