I love everything about tech and innovation. I strongly believe in our ability to overcome the biggest challenges with new ideas. I am amazed everyday by scientists and entrepreneurs’ creativity.
But I am also deeply concerned about the direction we are heading towards. I am worried about our polluted air and the long-term consequences of being exposed to large amounts of carcinogens. Urban outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year and Indoor air pollution is estimated to cause approximately 2 million premature deaths, mostly in developing countries by the WHO (World Health Organization).
My generation has the opportunity to do things differently as we have easier access to technologies. Digital technologies enable us to get information anywhere, anytime and share it globally and in our local communities. It is opening huge opportunities to improve public health and environmental awareness. My generation also has the responsibility to build a more transparent system because we cannot claim to ignore the facts.
There is a growing concern about air quality, especially among the Chinese who experienced recent severe pollution peaks. However, relevant data are rarely available. In many countries, there are few monitoring stations close to where we breathe and the only way to access information is to check a national website daily. Available technologies used in other areas are urgently needed in air quality monitoring (both indoor and outdoor) to inform and protect the public. There is also no current relevant certification program or safety rules for air cleaners and these products are more and more popular.
Many exciting projects are happening to provide real-time data and sensor networks. My goal in writing this blog is also to start a discussion about topics related to air pollution, big data, quantitative-self, crowd-sourced data mining and public health and find new solutions. If you are working in these areas or just interested by these topics, please drop me a line!