Research Shows How Inhaler Data Help Patients Breathe, Cities Plan

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replacement requirement to 45 percent of removed trees.

Other policy recommendations in the paper include developing truck routes “that would direct diesel trucks away from sensitive populations living in neighborhoods with the highest asthma burden.”

The City of Louisville plans to merge the sensor data collected during the study with traffic data from the navigation app Waze, Barrett says. This could help traffic engineers when they plot future highway routes in and around the city, she adds.

AIR Louisville is also working to use algorithms developed by Propeller to send forecasts of asthma risk, based on local environmental conditions, to the smartphones of Louisville residents who have respiratory disease, Barrett says. That could help someone with asthma plan the best times to exercise outside, for example.

The city has already committed to making some of the changes recommended by leaders of the AIR Louisville program, including ones related to tree planting, Barrett says. But it may take months or even years for city leaders to decide whether to move forward with other recommendations.

“Digital health data collection occurs on such a different time scale than lasting policy change,” Barrett says.

Other cities that like Louisville have high asthma rates, such as Pittsburgh, Portland, OR, and Knoxville, TN, have met with leaders of AIR Louisville about addressing the issue through urban planning and other approaches.

“We’re at different points of conversation with those cities [and others] to launch similar [programs] there,” Barrett says. “If we really want to influence the national policy conversation, we need to have a nationally representative sample.”

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