There’s Something in the Air (and it’s Not a Macbook)


Researchers in the UK and at Georgia Tech’s Research Institute are working on a gadget that will help doctors and asthma-patients better understand the conditions that trigger asthma attacks. At Georgia Tech, researchers have developed a pocket-friendly device that automatically checks and records air conditions every two minutes. The device notes levels of formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and also records air temperature and relative humidity. Patients using the device note down the time and date of their attacks so that researchers can analyze environmental conditions that trigger the attack. The hope is better understand the causes of asthma attacks so that better preventative treatments may be developed.

In the UK, researchers have attached similar sensors to bike-couriers’ bicycles. These devices link to a GPS unit and stream data back to the researchers’ labs to give them a better picture of various air conditions around London.

Both of these research initiatives aim to better understand air-quality and its link to various health conditions. What’s so interesting about these studies is how researchers are embracing technologies from other fields to fuel innovation.

Lear more at the New Scientist.


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