Asthma and Data: Tracking Air Quality And Pediatric Health

Data Analysis of Pediatric Asthma Patients Gets Positive Reception for Next Steps in Funding

On October 25 and 26, 2016, the  National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) convened a Global Cities Teams Challenge dedicated to superclusters. A supercluster is a set of cities facing a similar set of problems with a common solution. By using supercluster solutions, cities can solve existing problems with existing software.

The chosen supercluster solution sets are:

  1. Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Recovery, and Resilience

  2. Energy, Utilities, Water, and Microgrids

  3. Environment and Healthcare

  4. Municipal Dashboards

  5. Transportation

Addressing Disease as a Supercluster Solution

DigitalC presented as the only group working to solve a significant disease, pediatric asthma. We are involved in two specific projects to fight the disease:

  1. Reducing the Frequency and Morbidity of Pediatric Asthma in Dayton, OH

  2. Connecting Schools, Clinicians and Caregivers Via a 1 Gigabit Connection in Chattanooga, TN


The presentations were timely and well-received, with specific and helpful questions asked by our audience that will help as we work to move both projects forward. For example, we must work out what to do with a kid that doesn’t wear the asthma air quality sensor. Or, how can we use the technology for this project for other healthcare projects.

How the asthma app works

An air quality sensor is worn by a child with asthma. The sensor is continuously sending data to a smartwatch also worn by the child. The data is retrieved wirelessly and transmitted to the data hub. Any changes in a child’s breathing that is being monitored is tracked to see if and when the child should go to a hospital.

"Childhood asthma is a debilitating disease that affects 12% of children and that number is growing," said Marv Schwartz, Principal Investigator.

"By using the first wearable air quality monitor and a smartwatch, medical teams will now get reports on air quality and a child's breathing, warning them if there is an emergency. This kind of pre-warning has never been available before, and the impact will reduce complications and could save lives."

Communication is key between school, home, and doctor

In the second project we are working on monitoring the child’s asthma through a combination of the school nurse, an at-home care provider, and the child’s doctor. This project is underway in Tennessee as we focus on better communications between all three parties.

More on the study here.
Two following graphics by Mari Hulick show more detail of the two projects.