Just 20% of adults use sunscreen regularly, a distressing number for skin cancer specialists. But far more can receive text messages, and people who receive a daily text message instructing them to slap on the Coppertone are surprisingly likely to pay attention. More than half followed through when they received the reminders, according to a new study; just 30% of those who didn’t get the texts broke out the sunscreen on their own. How did the researchers know? Electronic bottle monitoring.
“I see people with skin cancers all the time,” the lead researcher tells the Boston Globe. “And they say, ‘If only I’d known what I was supposed to do.’”