There's A Wearable Device That May Help Prevent Skin Cancer

06/18/2015 04:45 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2015

Worried about getting a sunburn? Swap your Fitbit for June.

June is a wearable device that looks like a jeweled bracelet and bills itself as a "beauty coach that will help you fight a major source of skin-aging: UV." At $129 each, it comes with a UV sensor, has a battery life of about a year and pairs with an iOS app that gives users a daily forecast and expected UV index.

"An hourlong midday trail run near Oakland, Calif., where the average UV rating has been a steady 8 or 9, provides around 70 percent of my recommended sun dose for the day," wrote the New York Times' Jennifer Jolly, who tested June. "June also recommends sunscreen with SPF 30 and sunglasses. During a one-and-a-half-hour walk under a cloudy sky, June reported just 5 percent of maximum exposure, and showed that SPF 15 was ample protection. Wearing June definitely made me more conscious of the sun and of not frying my skin."

Although most of June's marketing seems geared at preventing sun-related skin aging, the device could also serve another incredibly important purpose: skin cancer prevention. By emphasizing sun protection, the device could help its users prevent the kind of damage that leads to cancer down the road.

And we certainly need something to play that role: A recent report indicated that rates for the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, have doubled since 1982. And if preventative measures aren't taken, the cost of treating new melanoma cases will triple from $457 million in 2011 to $1.6 billion in 2030.

Those are some scary stats -- but a wearable device for sunburn prevention seems like a great place to start.

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