New app measures pollution levels

04 January 2013 09:10

People who suffer with asthma will soon be able to detect air quality levels on their smartphone

People who suffer with asthma will soon be able to detect air quality levels on their smartphone

Asthma sufferers could soon avoid exposure to irritable pollutants after a new smartphone-based pollution app successfully incorporated CitiSense technology, which is used to measure levels of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, to tip off users about high risk areas in the United States.

Computer scientists from the University of California in San Diego used CitiSense sensors to monitor air quality levels before delivering real-time pollution updates to app users on smartphones, tablets and computers. The data generated is believed to be considerably more accurate than current air quality monitors provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. Researchers also hope to use the data to provide air quality forecasts throughout a designated area, which would be available to all internet users. The new system was trialled by 30 users for four weeks, who generally found the highest concentrations of pollution to be on main roads and junctions.

The news has been welcomed by asthma sufferers who often rely on taking out asthma travel insurance or pre-existing medical travel insurance before embarking on holidays to highly polluted areas.

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