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EPA, NIEHS and HHS launch challenge to develop personal air pollution and health sensors

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Coordinator for Health Information Technology announced a nationwide challenge called My Air, My Health (MAMH). The MAMH challenge offers awards for the development of a personal, portable, near-real-time, location-specific system to monitor and report air pollutants and a person’s physiological response to pollution.

Responders to the challenge will propose designs for sensors that can be easily worn or carried, and take into account a known or plausible link between airborne pollutants and health measurements (such as, heart rate and breathing) in certain individuals or communities. The proposals should also address how to make the collected health and environmental data available to researchers, public health institutions, and other interested parties.

Four finalists will each receive $15,000 and will be invited to develop their proposals into working prototypes to demonstrate how their systems can be integrated for practical use by health and environmental agencies, and by individual citizens. One of the four finalists will then be awarded $100,000 for the most effective solution for integrating physiological and air quality data that is usable and meaningful to long-term health outcomes. The awards will further scientific research on air quality and public health.

The MAMH Challenge announcement was made at HHS’s Health Data Initiative Forum by EPA Science Advisor Glenn Paulson, Ph.D and NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D.


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