AIR Louisville

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This case was submitted as part of the Call for Innovations, an annual partnership initiative between OPSI and the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation (MBRCGI)

The city of Louisville has one of the highest asthma rates in the U.S. AIR Louisville was a community program that used smart connected inhalers to help improve the asthma problem in Louisville. AIR Louisville enrolled 1,147 citizens of Louisville to improve asthma for everyone. Citizens benefited by receiving personalized care. Louisville Metro benefited from crowdsourced, hyperlocal data of air quality challenges our residents face.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

The AIR Louisville project equipped 1,147 residents with sensors for their asthma inhalers that tracks when, where and how often the inhaler is used. This information can help patients manage their symptoms. It can also help city leaders make smart decisions about how to keep our air clean enough to avoid asthma attacks in the first place.

Using the data collected, AIR Louisville was able to create a map of asthma risk for each neighborhood in Jefferson County, based on the environmental conditions found in each region. AIR Louisville found that rescue medication use happened more often on days with higher temperatures and air pollutant levels, including: Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3) and sulfur dioxide (SO2).

The AIR Louisville team also has calculated the healthcare costs of living in polluted air. Based on the data collected from 1,147 participants, we can estimate the healthcare costs of a high ozone day. When ozone exceeds the EPA limit of 70 parts per billion, the community could expect to see more than 65,000 asthma rescue inhaler uses among all people with asthma in Jefferson County. That adds up to healthcare costs of up to $129,000 on just that day. In 2016, ozone exceeded the 70 ppb limit on 19 days, so those high ozone days could translate to more than $2.4 million in healthcare costs.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

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Year: 2014
Level of government: Local government


  • Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways

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