We keep a very close eye on the annual Tech4Good competition, and especially the children who are nominated for their BT Young Pioneer award; there are some fiercely smart kids there doing some hugely impressive work. This year’s was a very close field (I would not like to have been judging – there were some extraordinary projects presented).
Arnav Sharma, nine years old, was the Winner of Winners as well as the winner of the People’s Award with this asthma monitor, which runs on Raspberry Pi. Arnav started by learning about the causes and effects of asthma, and thought about ways to help patients. He discovered that asthma is hard to diagnose, but can be fatal if left undetected. This leads to many children being over-diagnosed and over-medicated; inhalers are often given as treatment to reduce the symptoms of asthma, but come with side-effects like reduced growth and immunity. Arnav discovered that the best way to manage asthma is to prevent attacks by understanding what triggers asthma attacks and following a treatment plan.
Arnav’s AsthmaPi uses a Raspberry Pi, a Sense HAT, an MQ-135 Gas Sensor, a Sharp Optical Dust Sensor and an Arduino Uno.The sensors on the SenseHAT are used to measure temperature and humidity, while the MQ gas sensor detects nitrogen compounds, carbon dioxide, cigarette smoke, smog, ammonia and alcohol, all known asthma triggers. The dust sensor measures the size of dust particles and their density. The AsthmaPi is programmed in Python and C++, and triggers email and SMS text message alerts to remind the owner take medication and to go for review visits.
Here’s Arnav’s very impressive project video, which will walk you through what he’s put together, and how it all works.
Well done Arnav!