The NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences will hold a multidisciplinary competition for the development of personal sensors that can measure air pollution and its impact on an individual’s health, according to an announcement released today.
The “My Air, My Health Challenge,” co-sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, was introduced at the Health Data Initiative Forum in Washington, DC.
Participants are tasked with designing wearable or easily carried sensors that will gather data on air pollutants and measure health parameters, as well as proposing a proof-of-concept study with input from the target community, and a method for providing researchers and public health institutions with geocoded and time-stamped data.
A review panel will evaluate submitted sensors according to the viability of the proposed technology and plans for prototype development and study, plus the device’s portability and use of community input for the proposed study. Four finalists will receive $15,000 and be asked to develop design prototypes. The finalist with the most effective proposal for integrating the collected data in a usable, meaningful way will be declared the winner and receive $100,000. Entries can be submitted until Oct. 5, with finalists announced Nov. 8.
“We’re all different, and our bodies react in different ways to pollution and other harmful toxins in our environment,” National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Director Linda Birnbaum, PhD, said in a press release. “We believe pairing health researchers with technology innovators will help us get the tools we need for a more complete picture of what people are breathing and how it might affect their health.”
More information is available at the My Air, My Health Challenge website.