Taking Control of Air Quality Management

Global air quality peaked at its worst in 2015, prompting members of the World Health Organization to recognize air pollution as the world's largest single environmental health risk and seek remedial action. Knowing air quality levels in real-time and consequently actively avoiding high-risk areas would be a great leap forward in personal air quality maintenance.

Leading a large-scale project called “Personalized Real-Time Air Quality Informatics System for Exposure - Hong Kong (PRAISE-HK) to address this issue, Prof Alexis Lau is a world-renowned expert in regional and urban air pollution, geophysical data analysis and numerical modeling of the atmosphere. He and his multidisciplinary team of experts will develop a mobile app to put real-time air quality information in the palm of the user’s hand. The system combines artificial intelligence, state-of-the-art sensor technologies, big data, air quality modeling systems, and exposure science to analyze and forecast air quality in Hong Kong down to the street level. The app will also be personalized to fit the user’s daily activities, assisting with more informed decisions about routines based on air quality. Moreover, when sufficient data is collected in the system, personalized alerts and recommendation tailored to the individual will be available.

The PRAISE-HK app will be rolled out in three phases, to be completed in 2021.

Prof Alexis Lau is Professor of Division of Environment and Sustainability, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Director of the Institute for the Environment at HKUST. He is the Director of the Atmospheric Research Center (Nansha).

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