Sensor Network Helps Prevent Asthma Attacks on Children’s Playground

An automated air quality monitoring network in a smart city in Russia provides real-time accurate measurements of particulates, helping to protect vulnerable populations at schools, nursing homes, and hospitals.

 

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Image credit: Libelium

 

The Internet of Things is taking on asthma. The disease, which causes swelling of the airways, is often triggered when allergens or irritants enter the lungs, which cause wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest. The disease, which causes swelling of the airways, may affect as many as 30 percent of children aged 6 and 7 years old in Russia, and it is the number one reason children miss school. 

Unfortunately, asthma rates are climbing worldwide, partly due to poor air quality issues. Complicating treatment is a lack of reliable information about air quality. Few static stations monitor the level of air pollution. Even where they do exist, data is measured and uploaded infrequently. Without consistent data, it’s hard to know when and where people with asthma will be impacted the most.

 

 

Spare the Playground Air

In an effort to improve health and wellness, Airalab Rus has taken steps to monitor air quality in one Russian city. The company launched the “Smart Yard. Safe Environment” project, with the goal of monitoring air quality near schools, playgrounds, nursing homes, and hospitals—places where the populations are most vulnerable to pollutants. They share that data with the local government, which can inform its citizens.

Airalab Rus partnered with Smart Distribution to deploy a network of 10 sensors in a residential area of the city of Togliatti. The Airalab team chose Libelium’s Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Environment PRO because of its ease of use and long battery life.

The Airalab team installing one of the Plug&Sense! Smart Environment PRO devices.

The Airalab team installing one of the Plug&Sense! Smart Environment PRO devices.  Image credit: Libelium 

 

The solution kit was installed with the Particle Matter - Dust Sensor (PM1 / PM2.5 / PM10), air quality sensors for detecting sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide. Data is collected every 10 minutes 24/7 and is transmitted to the cloud via 4G interfaces.

Using blockchain technology to store the air quality information in a decentralized network ensures trustworthy data. It also allows Airalab Rus to sell that information directly to third parties and recoup some of the installation costs.

They found the average daily Maximum Permissible Concentration has not been exceeded, although spikes occur. Armed with that data, the city encourages people with asthma to limit their outdoor exposure during those times.

The program has been so successful that the Airalab team is planning to expand the sensor network throughout Togliatti. It’s been a win-win for the city and Airalab: IoT is improving the health of citizens and opening new markets for buying and selling data. With that knowledge, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

  • Learn more about Libelium’s Waspmote Gases PRO v30 Board, which can monitor environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, pressure, particle matter in the air (dust), and 16 different types of gases.