According to WHO, air pollution is a major cause of up to 80% of premature deaths, diseases, and cases of lung cancer. This means that it is one of the most significant threats in Europe. These are only more dangerous for people diagnosed with asthma. It is estimated that about 4,0% of the European population is more susceptible to air pollution because of this. In Belgium alone, these numbers go as high as 4,4%. University Colleges Leuven-Limburg (UCLL) recognized this problem and sought to help people with asthma and increase the knowledge about the connection between air pollution and asthma exacerbations. In their program “ASTMApping” they set out to create a network designed to monitor the air quality in Hasselt city. Using strategically placed sensors, the system measures the concentration of particles that are responsible for the degradation of air quality. However, in order to get an accurate map of places dangerous for asthmatics, researchers had to know where people with asthma tend to suffer from exacerbations. There was a need for a device that registers every use of rescue medication and provides a precise location and circumstances of an exacerbation. It was also necessary for the device to be seamless for the user to prevent any additional difficulties resulting from its use.
To solve the problem of gathering such data from asthmatics UCLL decided to work together with FindAir. This cooperation allowed for a major reduction of time and resources, compared to developing the solution independently. As a part of the cooperation, FindAir provided FindAir ONE devices, FindAir App, and API that allowed for safe data viewing and analyzing. Devices were distributed among the participants along with the app for their phones. After that, data collection was ready to commence. FindAir ONE devices register and transfer data to the application, where it is analyzed and complemented with additional information about the circumstances of the exacerbation. Finally, using API fully prepared data is sent out, to be viewed by the researchers. That way UCLL was able to get all the necessary materials with minimal time use and costs, simultaneously with the best quality and accuracy of data.
UC Leuven-Limburg (UCLL) is one of the major universities of applied sciences in Flanders with over 14,000 students and 9 campuses. UCLL specializes in teacher training, management, technology, and healthcare. Their researches provide innovation and answers to current and future problems.
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