As Heat Index Soars, Protect Yourself with Mobile Apps

By Stefania Viscusi July 30, 2012

Today, the heat index and damaging sun rays are nothing to play around with as cancer risks continue to threaten lives. Sure looking tan and having a warm glow in the summer are attractive, but when it comes to your body responding to the heat and your skin with holding from the damage of those strong beams of sun – taking protection seriously is a must.

For those of us who can’t help but be outdoors when the sun is shining, a number of new mobile apps make it possible to not only check the weather in advance and prepare, but also offer information on how to correctly combat the heat each day.

The U.S. Department of Labor for example, offers a heat safety tool that users can access from their mobile phone and provides the heat index for outdoor workers. The app calculates heat at a users specific work site and informs users about the risks of working in those conditions. Reminders can also be set to keep users hydrated, taking breaks, and helping to stop the risks of any heat related illnesses.

There is also the Environmental Protection Agency’s app “Sunwise,” which offers forecasts about the UV rays based on a user’s location.  Users can also search for anticipated UV ray indexes in advance of a trip – ensuring that the proper sunscreen is always applied and necessary precautions against melanoma are taken.

Even for those who would like to have some color in the summer months, protective SPF can still offer a chance to ‘get a tan.’ The “Suntan Watcher” app for the iPhone helps make sure you’re being safe about lying out in the sun while maximizing the chances of getting a golden glow. The app sends users notifications to reapply sunscreen, turn over, and even a reminder to check and reapply sunscreen for loved ones.

More users are turning to mobile apps today to improve their health and become better informed about protection and awareness. The market for health related apps is poised to hit $392 million in revenue by 2015. This prediction from Frost & Sullivan is attributed to improved technologies and more user-friendly app creation.

"From 2008 to 2010 mHealth consistently outpaced forecast growth and revenue," said Frost & Sullivan senior industry analyst, Zachary Bujnoch. "mHealth apps will continue on a steep growth curve as increasingly sophisticated mobile technologies and relationship-management tools disrupt the market."

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Assignment Desk Editor

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