Aerobiological Information Systems and allergic respiratory disease management (AIS LIFE)
The project AIS LIFE project – Aerobiological Information Systems and allergic respiratory disease management has been approved for funding within the LIFE+ programme (2007-2013).
The Coordinator is from the University of Florence – Department of Agri-food Production and Environmental Sciences. With partners from 3 EU countries (Italy, France, Austria) the project’s overall aim is to develop the information base for policy on environment and health, in terms of improved management of pollen-related allergic respiratory diseases.
Through a multidisciplinary, transnational network, AIS LIFE produces 3 Aerobiological Information Systems (AIS), with 3 Integrated Information Systems (IIS), 3 enhanced Personalised Information Systems (PPI) and 1 centralised database in:
Italy (activation of sampling station for aerobiological components);
France (PPI linked with allergic markers and QoL);
and Austria (improvements to existing PPI / introduction of IIS).
The AIS is supported by educational campaigns with patients. Results are
published in assessment reports, with long term recommendations.
AIS creates benefits for residents, people working in/commuting to the areas and visitors/tourists.
After 12 months of monitoring, a weekly aerobiological bulletin is issued (web/email/App for smart phones) predicting likely pollutant concentrations and variations. AIS raises awareness among target groups about potential health effects of environmental pollution and allows sufferers to take preventive measures. It allows allergologists to know concentrations of air pollutants in advance and adjust medicinal therapies, thus reducing side effects and costs.
Based on Austrian results, min.75000 users can be expected at local level (up to now mobile application has been downloaded + 90.000 times, with +25.000 active users). Other areas where the system is new predict lower, but still significant figures. Expected results (based on studies/similar applications) are reduction of 5% of allergic symptoms, 2.7% of absenteeism from work, 0.4% of casualty room visits, 0.5% of hospitalisation and 3 point increase of QoL index (Rhinasthma score). The project has 2 related case studies. The case in Italy produces a map of urban / rural environments through data on land use, allergic plants, agro-climatic indices, identifying areas with high risks for allergy sufferers in certain periods. In Tuscany this could improve QoL for 10% of population (350000 people), reduce money spent on medicines by 5% and emergency interventions by 0.5%. Following the demonstration results can be extended to national level and beyond. The French case provides recommendations for plant (particularly ragweed) occupation of public green areas (Paris/Lyon). Identification of plants and pollen production, with control procedures can reduce the level of pollen grain in the air by 5 to 10 times with respect to areas without any control.