siHealth : satellite technology for better healthcare

siHealth Ltd 

siHealth is a UK based spin-off of the Italian SME Flyby, that provides smart solutions for the Health & Wellness sector. Located in the Harwell Campus, a leading science, innovation, technology and business hub, the start-up was established in 2015. HappySun, which exploits satellite data to support healthy life style and disease prevention, is the first international commercial app based on Flyby’s know-how on satellite remote sensing for sun protection. 

The opportunity 

Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) sun radiation is the main cause of skin cancer. Melanoma is the most frequent type of skin cancer and it’s one of the most common types of cancer in the developed world. However, 8 out of 10 cases of melanoma could be simply prevented by avoiding sunburns and by having responsible exposures to the sun. Beyond conducting awareness raising campaigns, the education of individuals and their behaviour change could thus help to reduce skin cancer frequency.
Yet despite that most of the people are constantly up-to-date with weather conditions through a smartphone, few of them actually exploit this information to plan, adopt and monitor protection measures under the sun. So Flyby decided to set up HappySun through its international market company siHealth by recognizing that its satellite-based technology could respond to this particular market need. The app would not only offer UV level information to users in real-time, but it would also educate them on how to behave while in the sun.


The Satellite Solution

The HappySun app works as a “personal consultant” for sun exposure. Thanks to the collaboration with EUMETSAT and Copernicus and also thanks to the involvement of Flyby in the H2020-AURORA project, the app is supplied with a constant stream of satellite-based data. Using the smartphone’s embedded GPS receiver in synergy with EO-based UV data, the app provides real-time personalised recommendations to users. 

Users can record their personal skin type and the SPF (sun protection factor) of the sunscreen that they have applied. Thanks to this information HappySun calculates a tailored safe sun exposure time. The timer automatically takes into account the UV radiation changes in real-time during the sun exposure. The app also advises users on when sunscreen should be reapplied, offering the possibility to choose among different skin products and to identify the closest pharmacies where the product is available. Flyby and siHealth collaborated with the Italian Health Protection Ministry (INAIL/ISPESL), with Public Health England (PHE) and with the Italian Association Against Melanoma (ACM) for the validation of the HappySun app. 

The results 

During summer 2016 and part of summer 2017, the app has been downloaded 12.680 times by European users (HappySun is currently active only in Europe, but the spatial coverage is currently being extended to worldwide). siHealth also added HappySunPharma to its products portfolio.

Dedicated to professionals, this app allows pharmacists to diagnose the customer’s skin phototype and UV sensitivity in order to let them better assess skin types and recommend adequate products. Moreover, thanks to archive satellite data, the app is able to evaluate the intensity of local solar ultraviolet radiation for any location worldwide and for any day of the year. Therefore, customers can get the most suitable sunscreen’s SPF for their skin and for their planned journey location and period. siHealth is currently negotiating the customization of the HappySun app and of the HappySunPharma tablet app for different dermo-cosmetics brands interested to couple the apps to their sunscreen products selling-out in pharmacies and for an effective Customer Relationship Management.

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InvestireOggi Newspaper, Italy