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AirTEXT London - air pollution alert and health advice service for people vulnerable to air pollution. SEMINAR ON KOPERNIKUS-GALILEO FOR POTENTIAL USERS.

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Presentation on theme: "AirTEXT London - air pollution alert and health advice service for people vulnerable to air pollution. SEMINAR ON KOPERNIKUS-GALILEO FOR POTENTIAL USERS."— Presentation transcript:

1 airTEXT London - air pollution alert and health advice service for people vulnerable to air pollution. SEMINAR ON KOPERNIKUS-GALILEO FOR POTENTIAL USERS Belspo, 9 October, 2008 Presented by Stephen Potter Head of Pollution, London Borough of Croydon, UK Monday 7 February 2005

2 airTEXT Free air pollution alert and health advice service for people vulnerable to air pollution in London: Asthma Emphysema, bronchitis (COPD) Heart disease and angina Alerts sent by: SMS (text message) Voice message to home landline phones

3 airTEXT and GMES airTEXT is a User within the GMES PROMOTE project (air quality) 2005 London Borough of Croydon approached CERC to use YourAir service to provide air quality forecasts for a new SMS alerting service. Pilot airTEXT project undertaken in Croydon Jul-Nov 2005 using SMS message dissemination. Nov 05-Mar 07 airTEXT alerts also issued via and voice message to fixed line (home) telephones.

4 airTEXT London wide In March 2007 airTEXT was extended to all London boroughs & Slough with funding from PROMOTE, Mayor of London, Defra and the boroughs Bottom-up approach from borough level which now operates at regional level Funding to 31 July 2009 (PROMOTE Stage 2) Consortium of 22 boroughs manage airTEXT Supported by: Environment Agency Health Protection Agency Greater London Authority Current airTEXT subscribers: >3000

5 How airTEXT works CERC ADMS Urban model Moderate? High? Very High? Pollution levels Generation of SMS voice message alert Satellite measurements European Met forecasts CHIMERE Regional scale background pollution London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory Met forecasts London

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7 Why airTEXT? Born of the need to improve access to air quality information by vulnerable groups. Air pollution information and health advice widely available, but passively, not actively disseminated and take-up rates were low. Desire to target information in a timely way directly to those most at risk.

8 airTEXT aims enable patients to self-manage their symptoms & reduce exposure reduce acute impacts of air pollution (accident and emergency treatment – visit to doctor) improve patient quality of life and address health inequalities reduce resource implications on National Health Service evaluate health intervention

9 Signing up

10 How airTEXT works airTEXT alerts triggered on days of elevated air pollution: MODERATE HIGH VERY HIGH Alerts sent: 6-7 p.m. on evening before an air pollution episode or 7-8 a.m. on morning of an air pollution episode MODERATE AIR POLLUTION HIGH AIR POLLUTION VERY HIGH AIR POLLUTION What the message will say: MODERATE air pollution TOMORROW. You may notice mild health effects but these are unlikely to require action. If you have concerns please contact your GP. HIGH air pollution TOMORROW. If affected consider reducing exposure: spend less time outdoors and take reliever medication. If unwell contact your GP. VERY HIGH air pollution TOMORROW. Consider reducing exposure: spend less time outdoors and take reliever medication. If unwell contact your GP. What effects will I notice?  You may notice mild health effects  You are unlikely to need to take any action but be aware of your symptoms  Take reliever medication with you as a precaution  You may notice significant effects such as wheezing or more difficulty in breathing or chest pains if you have a heart condition  You may notice a worsening of breathing difficulties or chest pains if you have a heart condition What should I do?  You are unlikely to need to take any action but be aware of symptoms  Take reliever medication with you as a precaution  Talk to your doctor if you have concerns  Keep reliever medication with you as a precaution  You may need to increase dose of reliever medication – BUT NEVER EXCEED THE STATED DOSE  Consider reducing exposure by spending less time outdoors  Try to avoid strenuous outdoor activity.  Talk to your doctor if you have concerns  Keep reliever medication with you  Increase dose of reliever medication if you are affected – NEVER EXCEED THE STATED DOSE  Avoid long periods outdoors  Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.  Talk to your doctor if you have concerns

11 Added value from airTEXT Reported benefits from subscribers: At least 80% of users think airTEXT has helped them manage symptoms better and avoid exposure to air pollution 94% find it useful or very useful 89% more aware of pollution episodes and 71% have changed the way they respond Street level forecasts more relevant to users Targeting resources directly where they can benefit Enhanced reputation for London Borough of Croydon – won national award from UK Government

12 Independent Evaluation University of Brighton commissioned to undertake an independent evaluation of airTEXT. Stage 1: AIM: identify barrier to participation Stage 2: AIM: assessing the effectiveness of airTEXT Evaluation July 2008-March 2009

13 Lessons learned You can determine services at the lowest administrative level and scale them up – everything doesn’t have to be imposed from above People like innovation – even airTEXT pilot project in Croydon generated international press coverage Publicise the service well (e.g. on buses, trains) – you need a good budget €100,000 or so for a city Public/private sector partnership works well – bring different skills to project Health sector slow to engage Good relationship with PROMOTE but services could be more user-driven, user-focussed

14 Where do we go from here? Scaling up of airTEXT: Extending the services to European towns and cities Extending airTEXT to become a national service Private or publicly funded? Providing additional services to subscribers Pollen UV (sunburn times) Demonstration of other SMS alerting systems for pandemic influenza, heatwaves, flooding

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