Fighting asthma with data
Government Computer News just published an article on our work with the GASP project entitled Fighting asthma with data.
Year after year, Chattanooga, Tenn., ranks as one of the most challenging cities to live in for people who suffer from asthma and seasonal allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. It was eighth on the list for 2015, sixth the year before.
To help the city better target its air quality efforts and give asthma sufferers more information on which areas they should avoid, a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas are working to install highly sensitive sensors to map in real time the areas with the most particulate matter in the air.
The Geolocated Allergen Sensing Platform will help “determine whether real-time allergen and pollution collection and analysis on very fine geographic scales — the scale of a city block or less — can improve health and wellness,” David Lary, the project’s principal investigator, told GCN. “The amount of pollution and allergens we encounter can be orders of magnitude different depending on which route you take.”
GASP aims to create a network of sensors throughout the city to make it possible to know where the most polluted areas are. If Google Maps can give travelers the quickest route to their destination, then GASP may be able to give residents the least polluted route, Lary said.
Currently, particulate matter is measured by sensors provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, he said. Those sensors, while well calibrated, are very expensive, making them impractical for the street-level analysis that would be required for a system like GASP.
The GASP sensor uses a laser to detect and measure the particulates and pollen. Based on research Lary has done in Texas, he estimates that sensors would be needed every half a kilometer to five kilometers.
The brains of the sensor is the Waggle platform, created by the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and used in Chicago’s Array of Things. Waggle is an onboard computer that analyzes the data and is capable of machine learning that helps in the calibration of the device.
Waggle will be connected to the city’s high-speed fiber network to provide real-time updates through an application programming interface. A longer-term goal is setting up a dashboard with visualizations, he said.
Right now there is only one sensor deployed in Chattanooga. It was installed last fall to so it could be calibrated during the pollen season and will go through another round of calibration in the spring. Funding from the National Science Foundation will cover eight sensors in all. Lary doesn’t have a hard timeline for when the remaining ones will go up, but said the team is working quickly.
“The combined use of all these technologies — big data, remote sensing, network connectivity, machine learning, the so-called Internet of Things — it’s all very up-and-coming,” Lary said. “It’s an approach that has tremendous potential to have a massive societal impact.”
Ivan R. Medvedev, Robert Schueler, Jessica Thomas, Kenneth O, Hyun-Joo Nam, Navneet Sharma, Qian Zhong, David Lary, Philip Raskin (2016), Analysis of Exhaled Human Breath via Terahertz Molecular Spectroscopy, IRMMW-THZ 2016, 41st International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter and Terahertz Waves, 25-30 September 2016, Bella Center, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Abstract—We report on our progress in utilizing THz breath sensing in several bio-medical diagnostic applications. Our work bears promise in applying this technology to non-invasive analysis of blood glucose based on chemical composition of breath, as well as assessment of asthma related airway inflammation. Our most recent testing of CMOS based THz breath sensor, in the evolution of this technology towards compact and affordable implementations, is discussed.
BIG DATA IN SERVICE OF SOCIETY
Machine learning and multiple massive Big Data sets can be of great use for a wide variety of scientific, societal and business applications. The World Health Organization issued a report stating that seven million people died in 2012 from pollution related issues. Each year there are an estimated 219 million cases of Malaria. Eleven states have recently made drought declarations. Every year the US spends between $1 and $2 billion fighting fires. Issues such as these are of massive societal and personal relevance. Big Data and machine learning can provide invaluable tools for both improved understanding and making data driven decisions and policy.
This workshop will give an introduction to a wide range of Big Data applications of major scientific and societal importance such as environmental health, drought and water issues, fire.
The practical tools introduced can be readily used in a wide range of applications from research to real time decision support. The data used comes from a wide variety of sources including scientific instrumentation, social media, remote sensing, aerial vehicles and the internet of things.
US Ignite & GENI, Mar 23 – Mar 25, 2015 held at Hilton Crystal City at Washington Reagan National Airport and at the Marvin Center, The George Washington University 2009 Service Awards, The George Washington University, 800 21st Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20052, USA
The atmospheric boundary layer is characterized by sharp vertical aerosol gradients. We have been making airborne measurements of PM2.5 in the boundary layer using a zero emission electric model aircraft. In addition to the vertical variability, large day to day variability can also be observed as shown below.
Unmanned airborne networks (ANs), as a representative but highly challenging mobile complex information system (CIS), have recently attracted significant interest across a multitude of agencies. This growing interest is stimulated by the advantages of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as transportability, wide coverage and unmanned maneuvering, and also by direct flight-to-flight communication schemes such as small delay, high throughput and flexibility. These advantages give rise to broad novel applications including next-generation air traffic control, search and rescue, surveillance, cargo transportation, and on-demand creation of communication network infrastructure after disasters, among others.
Despite these advantages and broad applications of unmanned ANs, the research is still at its very early stage, due to the highly complex, mobile, and varying AN structure, heterogeneous communication environment, and very limited power and computation resources. In order to overcome these difficulties, it is crucial for academia, industry, and international researchers to cohesively collaborate and share multi-source information and test-beds.
This international seminar will serve as a starting point to propel research progress in this emerging field. We expect that a series of such events will lead to strong international collaboration, funding opportunities, and fruitful research outputs.
Invited to speak at Symposium on Healthcare and Analytics in Research and Practice (SHARP 2014) as part of a panel on Analytics Powering Smart Cities and a session on Smart and Connected Cities. The use of big data and analytics approaches in the fields of science, technology and business is promising and set to grow over the next several years. The adoption of such approaches should lead toward the development of next-generation innovation that is widely adopted in organizations and localized communities but are also sharable over high-speed, gigabit cyber-networks such as the government’s Geni initiative. Analytics-driven developments in various spheres such as healthcare, smart grid, public health, consumer, etc. can strongly influence the technological evolution, guide policy making, while reshaping the future and catalyze the innovation culture at the global, regional and metropolitan levels. Various private and public open-data initiatives will be key drivers for this change. Such an approach requires a new thinking blended with state-of-art new business, technology and analytics skills and strong scientific research.
Earth observations have been used for decades to benefit society. The Veterans Administration (VA) is the country’s largest health care provider, caring for seven million veterans. The project is aimed at enhancing the VA decision support tools in the area of public health and air quality utilizing multiple NASA Satellite and Earth Science Model Products. This environmental information will be integrated with the VA’s Decision Support Systems.
The project is based on a close collaboration with the VA to provide a three-fold enhancement of the existing VA decision support, namely:
- Personalized Health Alerts for Patients in the existing MyHealtheVet tool.
- New Tool for Logistical Planning for Emergency Rooms and Clinics.
- Improved Diagnosis Tools for Physicians.
We learn from the past to inform the future by using machine learning to determine the mapping from historical VA hospital admissions (all ICD codes) and prescriptions over the last decade to the environmental data provided by a suite of NASA products. The key goal is the sustained routine use of the NASA products beyond the end of this project.
The proposition being developed and tested is that global daily high resolution air quality data delivered as a web service is of tremendous measurable value for multiple application verticals in a suite of decision support tools. The daily data products derived from a suite of NASA datasets using machine learning will allow provision of proactive health care by the country’s largest health care provider, the VA, and proactive policy making and environmental reporting for the municipality of San Leandro, CA.
We will utilize the UTD Innovative Virtual Platform for Research Collaboration and Application (a state of the art telepresence facility) to have regular videoconferences with our partners across the country.
The NTx Apps Challenge launches with a bang at our Challenge Kickoff on July 24th at The DEC. Join us for an evening of great ideas and dynamic speakers, including Calvin Carter, CEO of Bottle Rocket, Dr. David Lary, Professor at University of Texas at Dallas, and Scott Harper, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Dialexa.
Come learn about this year’s Challenge Verticals, check out some cutting-edge product demos, network with our amazing Challenge Mentors, and start building your dream dev team for your shot at $80k in prizes.
Whether you are a hacker, a designer, an entrepreneuer, or just someone with a good idea, you will not want to miss this spectacular night!