CHALLENGE #5 – DANISH CANCER SOCIETY
According to cancer.dk, every third Dane will have cancer before they reach the age of 75, yet 4 out of 10 of such cases could have been prevented.
Many cancer cases are lung related and one of the big contributors – is smoking. However another, more subtle contributor is general air pollution. When we speak of air pollution, the general thing to look out for are particles that classify as fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5. The 2.5 refers to particles with a diameter under 2.5 micrometers (100 times thinner than human hair), these particles are especially common in large cities and a majority are human made. The sources range from dust, ash and soot from the combustion of solid and liquid fuels.
A common city-resident can be exposed to these harmful particles without even being aware, which poses a problem for their long term health, especially when commuting through especially crowded urban areas.
The targeted users can be seperated into 2 different categories. Firstly, a user-oriented commercial side and secondly a more technical and medically oriented side.
For the first category, the intial intention was to target bicycle commuters, however due to the nature of the solution – this was extended to a more general target group. The solution could essentially be used by anyone that was interested in knowing more about the air quality in their daily commutes.
For the second category, we’ve realized that the project scope is massive and while we can do our part in gathering data – a huge part will be in data analysis. As such, enabling the continued research and development within the domain is a fundamental ambition of the project.
The proposed final solution included state of the art hardware and software implementations. The hardware consisted of low power components such as dust and volatile organic compound sensors as well as network modules so this data could be sent in real time. This device wouldn’t be bigger than a modern smartphone and could be mounted on a bicycle or wherever it was needed.
The device would then act as a data aggregator, sending locational data every minute or so. While hundreds or thousands of devices were deployed in an area, it would then be feasible to gain an overview of near real-time air-quality on a map accesible via web and mobile applications. The user could then,
Meanwhile, all the data is persisted and could be used in further research and development.
The solution is evidently extremely ambitious, Folkemødet would have been a good testing site for an alpha version to be deployed and gain valuable feedback. However, due to the global pandemic as well as time constraints this was unfortunately not feasible to carry out.