Clinical Blog
Published: April 07, 2015

Propeller Health to Build First Ever National Asthma Risk Map for U.S.

Today we are pleased to announce we will build the first-ever national Asthma Risk Map for the United States, where citizens can track how climate change affects the frequency and severity of asthma attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). To accomplish this, Propeller plans to expand its current municipal public health asthma initiatives to five cities around the US in the next two years as part of President Obama’s Climate Data Initiative.

Propeller will collect in near real-time inhaler usage across the US.  By pinpointing the time and location of rescue inhaler usage, Propeller will be able notify the community and nation of potential asthma risk hot spots, or The Asthma Risk map. This map is the first piece of the puzzle in helping us provide in-depth models on the impact climate change will have on public health. In addition to this, our big data analytics will collect an additional 40 data points, such as weather conditions, wind direction, air pollution, pollen counts, land use and traffic patterns at the time and location an inhaler is used.

The first of such cross-sectoral programs, AIR Louisville – a partnership with the Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soil, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – is already using Propeller’s FDA-cleared sensors to collect these necessary data. As we expand to more cities the additional data will help build richer model sets.


Using predictive spatial modeling techniques, and open government data resources from, the Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration global climate models, Propeller will identify areas in US cities where the impacts of climate change will be felt most acutely by people with chronic respiratory disease over the next 10 to 100 years and beyond.

These models will consider modifiable predictors such as air pollution and transportation in addition to climate conditions to help local municipalities plan collaboratively for the impacts of climate change on health and to identify the most promising interventions that could be implemented now to reduce this burden. This initiative will also raise public awareness and help to build resilient communities that can withstand the impacts of climate change now and into the future.

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