Dr. Harut Shahumyan has been recently awarded another Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship from EDGE COFUND action to implement his project on Big Data Driven Geo-Spatial Models Supporting Public Health (BigDataGeoSuPH). This 3-year fellowship will be based at University College Dublin (UCD) and the CONNECT Centre strengthened through industry collaborations with IBM, Intel and Google.
With some 32 million people in Europe with asthma and an associated cost of €18 billion per year, asthma represents one of the major medical challenges worldwide. Ireland has the 4th highest prevalence of asthma in the world. The BigDataGeoSuPH project aims to reduce asthma burden in Ireland with the help of pinpointing the time and location of inhaler usage and overlaying it with data from sensors and other sources and modelling the effects of the environment on the asthma symptoms. Particularly, it will connect city-wide air, weather, and traffic monitoring sensors with the crowd-sourced data from an asthma tracking mobile application and will explore the correlations within this big data. An algorithm will be developed to identify the healthiest route and transport mode based on real time sensor data, required physical activity, and more. This will be tailored to the needs of people with asthma, using the inhaler usage crowd-sourced data. Furthermore, land use, transportation, health impact and climate models will be applied to simulate future scenarios and to analyse risks associated with asthma.
The project aims to play an important role in expanding our understanding of social and environmental determinants of health and informing decision-making to promote public health. It will highlight the potentials of using sensor networks and smart technology to engage citizens, collect data, disseminate findings, and put those findings into meaningful next steps to support public health. This represent creative approach to connect real time environmental monitoring programs to citizen science applications and to urban development and transport planning to inform the public and policy makers about specific public health potential risks.