News and Blog

UV wristbands helping adolescents to stay safe in the sun

Sun safety is being promoted with free UV indicating wristbands and sunscreen at South Bank Parklands these school holidays in an effort to get children and young people to make sunscreen and other sun protection part of daily routine.

The initiative by Queensland Health and Surf Life Saving Queensland puts into action QUT research on the use of UV-sensing wristbands. QUT Public Health researcher Dr Elke Hacker who is an expert in the use of technology to promote sun safe habits conducted the study during November in 2019. Read more >

UV-detecting stickers warn young footballers to apply sunscreen

  • 14-18-year-old rugby league players participated in sunscreen use study
  • Young adult competitive sport players have report high rates of sunburn
  • UV-detection sticker on exposed skin turns purple to indicate sunscreen should be applied
  • Young players responded to wearing a sticker with an increase in sunscreen use

QUT public health researcher Dr Elke Hacker, from the Faculty of Health’s School of Public Health and Social Work studied the response of 550 young rugby league players  at the Adrian Vowles Cup, a two-day carnival in Charleville, to wearing a sticker that changes colour when more sunscreen should be applied to keep skin safe from sun exposure.

The UV-detection stickers use UV sensitive dyes and a patented technology called dermatrue™ that absorbs sunscreen, just like skin does. Wearers put them on skin exposed to the sun and apply sunscreen over the sticker along with the rest of the body part being protected. Read more >

Virtual Reality for Health Education and Wellbeing

QUT researchers want to talk to people about a new virtual reality (VR) technology designed to assist with health education and wellbeing. You will be asked to participate in a 60 minute focus group at QUT, Kelvin Grove. Prior to attending the focus group, you will be asked to complete a short demographics survey, and asked to test the VR headsets in a 5-7 minute game, then provide feedback on the experience. You will also be asked to complete an online survey 7 days after the focus group

You can participate in this research if you are 18 years of age and over. Participants are ineligible if they are pregnant or have pre-existing conditions that may affect your virtual reality experience such as vision abnormalities, psychiatric disorders, suffer from a seizure disorder, heart conditions or other serious health conditions. Implanted medical devices such as cardiac pacemakers, hearing aids & defibrillators can be affected by virtual reality components magnetic field and are therefore excluded from this study. Read more >

Is your handwashing up to scratch?

Dr Elke Hacker has developed a way to check if you are washing your hands properly to avoid picking up the coronavirus infection. The ‘smart’ handwashing station she has developed integrates a UV light and camera technology to provide a visual representation of how clean your hands are after washing.

“The method is simple,” Dr Hacker said. “You apply a fluorescent moisturiser to your hands and then wash them.

“Most of us, before the coronavirus epidemic, washed our hands for about five seconds, but since the outbreak we are taking longer washing them, however, technique is just as important as the time you spend with the soap and water. Read more >

Is there enough sunscreen in your cosmetic products?

Dr Elke Hacker from the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) partnered with the Wellness Matters program, Department of Health Safety and Environment at QUT, to undertake a research study assessing the coverage of cosmetics with SPF by using UV cameras.

A UV camera is designed to image ultraviolet light, the same UV light that sunscreen or cosmetic products containing SPF absorbs. In the UV image, skin with sunscreen or SPF on it will appear darker onscreen than skin that’s been missed, or that requires a reapplication. The more sunscreen that is present, the darker the skin will look. Read more >

Could a UV wristband help prevent sunburn?

As 18,000 school leavers hit the Gold Coast to celebrate the end of school and exams we have come up with a clever way to reach these school leavers – a silicon UV-reactive slider that is included on the official Safer Schoolies wristband that indicates when their skin has had enough sun.

Just a couple of sunburns can leave the skin vulnerable to skin cancer, and its most deadly form, melanoma. Read more >

Seeking research participants: UV cameras and sunscreen use

Dr Elke Hacker from the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) is seeking participants for a research study using UV cameras. You may be eligible to participate if you are 18 years of age or older. Individuals will not be able to participate if they have an allergy to sunscreen.

Participants will be asked to visit IHBI to complete a brief demographics survey and apply two moisturiser products with an SPF content supplied by the research team to the left and right side of their face. Photos will be taken of the participants face with a UV camera before, immediately and 20 minutes after application of the moisturiser with SPF. You will be asked to participate in a 5-10 minute audio-recorded interview and asked to comment about your thoughts on the products applied. Read more >