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New Medusapp version offers users more information on presence of jellyfish at beaches

The app has been jointly developed by former UPV students, the University of Alicante, the Spanish Centre for Biomedical Research Networking in Respiratory Diseases (CIBERES) and the Jiménez Díaz Foundation’s Health Research Institute

Since its launch, the app has received more than 1,300 jellyfish sightings

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Alicante. Thursday 25 July 2019

Medusapp, developed by two former Universitat Politècnica de València students, researchers from the University of Alicante (UA), the Spanish Centre for Biomedical Research Networking in Respiratory Diseases (CIBERES) and the Immuno-Allergy Laboratory of the Jiménez Díaz Foundation’s Health Research Institute (IIS-FJD), offers additional information and features to users this year.

Medusapp allows anyone to report jellyfish sightings and provides a real-time map of the areas where they were sighted. From its launch to the present, the app has received more than 1,300 jellyfish sightings, 909 of which were published, and pictures of 402 jellyfish stings, sent directly to the Jiménez Díaz Foundation’s Research Institute.

The app now has new upgrades, such as the possibility of uploading the picture to be sent from the gallery of other devices, instead of just from the phone camera. “Many divers and navigators who carry GoPro-type cameras in water rather than mobiles were asking for it,” app developer Eduardo Blasco says.

Medusapp can warn users if there were sightings within a 5-km radius from its position over the last few days and generate a quick global report on the location maps. “Users can check sightings within any range of dates and/or species they wish,” Ramón Palacios (another Medusapp developer) adds, highlighting that, as one of the main new features of this version, it is also available in English.

Other new features include a diagram of the human body to help indicate where someone was stung, new maps, and filters that enable a more accessible and user-friendly app navigation. “Our goal is to make the app as user-friendly as possible, and for it to gather all possible information on each user’s sightings,” Ramón Palacios points out.

Medusapp allows users to send a picture of the species and the estimated number of specimens and size. This information is published on a map available at www.medusapp.net, accessible also from the application itself.

Users can send pictures of sighted jellyfish as well as of stings, and explain how long it was since the sting or the type of species.

All scientific and medical information on stings is managed and analysed by the LIFE Cubomed project team. Team members are researchers César Bordehore and Eva S. Fonfría, from the UA Institute for Environmental Research (IMEM), CIBERES doctors Victoria del Pozo and Mar Fernández Nieto, and the Immuno-Allergy Laboratory of the Jiménez Díaz Foundation's Health Research Institute (IIS-FJD).

 

Educational and first-aid guide

The new Medusapp version equally includes an educational guide with pictures of the main jellyfish species plus an interactive first-aid guide, containing recommendations in case of sting for different species. All this information is taken from the LIFE Cubomed project, in which UA researcher César Bordehore is involved alongside staff from the Spanish National Research Council’s Marine Science Institute in Barcelona.

According to the UA marine ecology expert, “when we are stung by jellyfish the most important thing is to remove the tentacles with a pair of tweezers or a plastic card, without rubbing, and deactivate the remaining stinging cells on our skin with a mixture of bicarbonate and seawater.”

Medusapp is available for both Android and iOS and can be used online and offline, in case there is no coverage or one prefers to send information from a Wi-Fi network.

 

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