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New personal air pollution sensor wins $100K award

NIH, ONC, and EPA name winner of health and technology challenge

June 5, 2013
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air pollutionYou’ll soon be able to calculate how much particulate matter you’re inhaling with the Conscious Clothing system, a wearable breathing analysis tool that uses groove strips, stretchy, conductive strips of knitted silver material wrapped around the ribcage, to measure breath volume, and collects and transmits data in real time, via Bluetooth, to any Bluetooth-capable device.

The system is the winner of a My Air, My Health Challenge conducted by by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The announcement was made recently at Health Datapalooza by the National Institutes of Health, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The prize for its developers: $100,000.

Health Datapalooza is intended to encourage innovation and partnerships between technology specialists and health professionals, to further biomedical research and solve health problems. Conscious Clothing’s design was chosen from four finalists.

“With people wearing these new data-collecting devices, researchers will be able to see and understand the relationships between varying levels of air pollutants and individual health responses in real time. This is a big step toward treating and, more importantly, preventing disease and illness,” said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of NIH. “This is an exciting time in research.”

“This integration of technologies represents a growing area of interest for environmental and health scientists,” said Glenn Paulson, Ph.D., EPA science advisor. “We’re at the edge of a technology wave where anyone can use these sensors. The potential impact on personalized health and local environmental quality is tremendous.”

David Kuller of AUX, Gabrielle Savage Dockterman of Angel Devil Productions, and Dot Kelly of Shearwater Design, developed the Conscious Clothing system. For more information about the winning design and the My Air, My Health Challenge, visit challenge.gov/HHS/372-my-air-my-health-challenge.

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