A review on the ability of smartphones to detect ultraviolet (UV) radiation and their potential to be used in UV research and for public education purposes

Turner, Joanna and Igoe, Damien and Parisi, Alfio V. and McGonigle, Andrew J. and Amar, Abdurazaq and Wainwright, Lisa ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5946-2507 (2020) A review on the ability of smartphones to detect ultraviolet (UV) radiation and their potential to be used in UV research and for public education purposes. Science of the Total Environment, 706:135873. pp. 1-15. ISSN 0048-9697

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The effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on life on Earth have continuously been the subject of research. Over-exposure to UV radiation is harmful, but small amounts of exposure are required for good health. It is, therefore, crucial for humans to optimise their own UV exposure and not exceed UV levels that are sufficient for essential biological functions. Exceeding those levels may increase risk of developing health problems including skin cancer and cataracts. Smartphones have been previously investigated for their ability to detect UV radiation with or without additional devices that monitor personal UV exposure, in order to maintain safe exposure times by individuals. This review presents a comprehensive overview of the current state of smartphones’ use in UV radiation monitoring and prediction. There are four main methods for UV radiation detection or prediction involving the use smartphones, depending on the requirements of the user: devoted software applications developed for smartphones to predict UV Index (UVI), wearable and non-wearable devices that can be used with smartphones to provide real-time UVI, and the use of smartphone image sensors to detect UV radiation. The latter method has been a growing area of research over the last decade. Built-in smartphone image sensors have been investigated for UV radiation detection and the quantification of related atmospheric factors (including aerosols, ozone, clouds and volcanic plumes). The overall practicalities, limitations and challenges are reviewed, specifically in regard to public education. The ubiquitous nature of smartphones can provide an interactive tool when considering public education on the effects and individual monitoring of UV radiation exposure, although social and geographic areas with low socio-economic factors could challenge the usefulness of smartphones. Overall, the review shows that smartphones provide multiple opportunities in different forms to educate users on personal health with respect to UV radiation.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Sciences (6 Sep 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2020 05:19
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2021 04:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: smartphone, ultraviolet, UV radiation, UV irradiance, CMOS, sensor, UVB, UVA
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
02 Physical Sciences > 0205 Optical Physics > 020599 Optical Physics not elsewhere classified
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040103 Atmospheric Radiation
Fields of Research (2020): 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations > 350505 Occupational and workplace health and safety
51 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 5102 Atomic, molecular and optical physics > 510299 Atomic, molecular and optical physics not elsewhere classified
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3701 Atmospheric sciences > 370106 Atmospheric radiation
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970110 Expanding Knowledge in Technology
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960299 Atmosphere and Weather not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135873
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/38103

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