Connect Air Pollution and Health in New $160,000 Contest
A new $160,000 challenge seeks to show the connection between air pollution and people's health through mobile sensors. This air quality data was collected with smartphones through the nonprofit Habitat Map project.
CREDIT: Habitat Map
Monitoring air pollution's impact on the health of school kids playing by a highway in the Bronx or pregnant mothers living in L.A.'s suburbs can prove tricky. That problem has led to a new challenge offering $160,000 to anyone who can use smartphones or similar mobile devices to connect the dots between air quality and human health.
The "My Air, My Health Challenge" aims to turn common gadgets into scientific tools that can measure local air pollution and certain markers of human health. Such devices would form part of a bigger system that can transmit such personal data — along with time and location — to a central database for proper study.
Four finalist proposals could earn $15,000 each in Phase 1, before a single winner gets $100,000 in Phase 2 to make their idea happen. The latest contest is hosted by Innocentive, a crowd-sourcing website that offers challenges to problem-solvers worldwide. [5 Innovation Challenges You Can Enter Now]
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) teamed up with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund the latest challenge. Innocentive has also hosted challenges for private health companies, such the Cleveland Clinic, as well as the U.S. Air Force.