According to a recent study published in JAMA Dermatology, a smartphone mobile app providing personal advice can help reduce unprotected sun exposure. David B. Buller, et al., “Evaluation of Immediate and 12-Week Effects of a Smartphone Sun-Safety Mobile Application: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” JAMA Dermatology, January 28, 2015.

Using the app, the researchers collected data from 202 adults about their sun exposure during a three-month period. The app allows participants to share insights on sun-safety practices and pushes out notifications reminding users to apply sunscreen or to get out of the sun. The researchers found that the participants reported more shade use, but less sunscreen use, and that there was no significant difference in sunburns. While use of the app was less than expected, it did apparently provide some improved sun protection. The authors also found that use of the mobile app was greater than in a previous trial and was associated with greater sun protection, especially among women.