News & Stories

Breathing easier with Bad Air Day alerts

People with chronic respiratory diseases in Tasmania and the ACT can manage their condition better by using air quality alerts issued via a free App, AirRater, developed at the University of Tasmania.

If you're among the 25 per cent of Australians with a chronic respiratory condition, a bad air day—with high pollen counts, pollution or bushfire smoke—can trigger a bout of illness that may even send you to hospital.

Now AirRater, a free mobile app developed by the University of Tasmania's Internet of Things research network Sense-T, is helping respiratory disease sufferers minimise their exposure, and so reduce their symptoms.

The app development drew on the expertise of leading environmental and public health researchers who specialised in the effects of air pollution, pollen, smoke and heat.

AirRater combines real-time data from a range of different sources, including the Environment Protection Authority's air pollution monitors, the Bureau of Meteorology's weather stations and pollen count monitors and other community information.

The data on local air quality is sent to individual users, who can also use the app to track their own symptoms. These can then be mapped to the time, place and conditions to help people build up a picture of their own triggers.

App users can tailor the alerts they receive to be relevant to their own needs and identify the environmental conditions that cause them problems, to help them avoid or pre-empt exposure.

The App was developed by Sense-T, led by the University of Tasmania and the CSIRO, and is now funded by the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania.

AirRater is available in Tasmania and the ACT.


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  • Salmon farmers in Tasmania have been rescued from problems with poor oxygen quality and overstocking thanks to a real-time oxygen sensor network established in Macquarie Harbour, in collaboration with the University of Tasmania's Sense-T program. The network is contributing to better management, regulation, and sustainability of salmon farms.

Interested in conducting your own research? Apply now to become a research student.

Interested in partnering with the University of Tasmania? Find out more here.