Health Sneezy ain’t easy: new pollen monitoring to help sufferers

Sneezy ain’t easy: new pollen monitoring to help sufferers

One in five Australians suffer from hay fever each year, yet Australia is one of the few developed countries without a national pollen monitoring system.

That’s why researchers, led by Associate Professor Janet Davies from the Queensland University of Technology, are developing AusPollen.

It’s a national pollen alert system to provide accurate and localised information to pollen allergy sufferers through a smartphone app.

Research team member Professor Alfredo Huete from the University of Technology, Sydney said the alert system will help predict the severity and timing of the pollen season.

He hopes it will lead to better health management and enable the health system to be better prepared with stocks of medicine.

“We hope to be able to identify and map the locations of pollen-producing grasses with satellite surveillance…I’m excited about the potential of [these] technologies to advance ecological forecasting capabilities that have direct public health outcomes,” he says.

The project will also evaluate whether the new system leads to better self-management of allergies, decreasing the medical and economic burden of hay fever and asthma.

The AusPollen project partners include the Australian Society for Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Asthma Australia, Stallergenes Pty Ltd, Bureau of Meteorology, the Federal Institute of Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss) and the CSIRO.

You can find out more about this project here. Story credit: University of Technology Sydney newsroom

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