Collaborative study of Louisville’s respiratory health finds success in helping people cope with asthma
Louisville’s much-touted, data-driven digital health technology effort to improve asthma in the city has come to an end after two years. AIR Louisville was a collaboration between Propeller Health, Louisville Metro’s Office of Civic Innovation and the Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soil.
The study used Propeller Health’s medication inhaler sensors, which tracked when, where and how often residents of Louisville experienced asthma symptoms. It also allowed Propeller Health to set up personalized asthma management systems for users.
The program enrolled over 1,147 participants, collected over 570 patient years of data, 251,000 medication “puffs,” and over 5.4 million environmental data points. These data were then matched to city data on temperature, pollution and other environmental information.
According to the resulting study, patient outcomes were improved. Participants experienced a 82 percent reduction in asthma rescue inhaler use, 29 percent improvement in the number of people gaining control of their asthma, two times the number of symptom-free days and 14 percent increase in nights without symptoms.
Based on the data collected, the city will take a number of steps to improve the health of those suffering from asthma and other respiratory diseases like COPD. They include providing Propeller Health’s asthma risk forecast data on the city’s Smart Louisville platform, finding alternative truck routes for high-risk areas and taking these findings into account when zoning decisions are made.
The city also vowed to plant more trees, but the tree planting budget of $600,000 that the mayor proposed was slashed to $200,000 by the Metro Council.
The study also recommended changes people could make to their habits to improve respiratory health. They included planting trees in your yard and making sure you don’t idle your car for very long.