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Ola Joins Hands with Microsoft Research to Measure Real-time Air Quality

The data along with traffic and speed data can provide information on bad air-quality hotspots in the city

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Ola
Ola Cabs. Pixabay

In a bid to support the government’s efforts to combat air pollution, private cab aggregator Ola and Microsoft Research on Monday joined hands to measure real-time street level air quality data in Delhi-NCR.

Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) data will be collected through sensors mounted on Ola’s fleet of vehicles.

Ola’s fleet of cars for this has been identified, based on complex algorithms to ensure maximum geographical coverage of data.

The sensors to be mounted in the engine compartment of the cars have been custom-made by a Delhi-based company Purelogic Labs India Pvt. Ltd.

“At Microsoft Research India, we have a track record of conducting research that addresses pressing societal issues with innovative technology. The recent launch of our Societal impact through Cloud and AI (SCAI) initiative enables us to deepen our engagement with like-minded collaborators. We are excited to be partnering with Ola on the critical challenge of air pollution, leveraging their reach in the country and our expertise in edge technologies such as IoT-based sensing and AI,” Venkat Padmanabhan, Deputy Managing Director, Microsoft Research India, said in a statement.

FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE – Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

The project is set to begin this month and is expected to collect millions of data points over the course of one year to complete the spectrum of variation in Delhi’s air-pollution.

“Air pollution is one of the biggest global environmental challenges of today. Most air-quality sensors today measure ambient air-quality which is not reflective of the street-level pollution people are subjected to on a daily basis. This project is part of ‘Ola City Sense’, a programme to provide intelligent data based insights to cities,” said Anand Shah, Head, Ola Mobility Institute.

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Under this partnership, Ola Mobility Institute and Microsoft Research will leverage their strong research and data science capabilities to jointly conduct research to provide periodic reports and insights from the data collected.

The data along with traffic and speed data can provide information on bad air-quality hotspots in the city. (IANS)

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Reduction in Air Pollution May Increase Life-Expectancy: Study

Findings of a Research indicate almost immediate and substantial effects on health outcomes followed reduced exposure to air pollution

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Pollution
Fortunately, reducing air Pollution can result in prompt and substantial health gains. Pixabay

Reductions in Air Pollution yielded fast and dramatic impacts on health-outcomes, as well as decreases in all-cause morbidity, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society, reviewed interventions that have reduced air pollution at its source. It looked for outcomes and time to achieve those outcomes in several settings, finding that the improvements in health were striking.

Starting at week one of a ban on smoking in Ireland, for example, there was a 13 per cent drop in all-cause mortality, a 26 per cent reduction in ischemic heart disease, a 32 per cent reduction in stroke, and a 38 per cent reduction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Interestingly, the greatest benefits in that case occurred among non-smokers.

“We knew there were benefits from pollution control, but the magnitude and relatively short time duration to accomplish them were impressive,” said lead author Dean Schraufnagel from the American Thoracic Society in the US.

“Our findings indicate almost immediate and substantial effects on health outcomes followed reduced exposure to air pollution. It’s critical that governments adopt and enforce WHO guidelines for air pollution immediately,” Schraufnagel added.

Pollution
Reductions in Air Pollution yielded fast and dramatic impacts on health-outcomes, as well as decreases in all-cause morbidity, a new study suggests. Pixabay

According to the researchers, In the US a 13-month closure of a steel mill in Utah resulted in reducing hospitalisations for pneumonia, pleurisy, bronchitis and asthma by half.

School absenteeism decreased by 40 per cent, and daily mortality fell by 16 per cent for every 100 µg/m3 PM10 (a pollutant) decrease.

Women who were pregnant during the mill closing were less likely to have premature births.

A 17-day ‘transportation strategy,’ in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1996 Olympic Games involved closing parts of the city to help athletes make it to their events on time, but also greatly decreased air pollution.

In the following four weeks, children’s visits for asthma to clinics dropped by more than 40 per cent and trips to emergency departments by 11 per cent. Hospitalizations for asthma decreased by 19 per cent.

WHO
Findings of the Study indicate almost immediate and substantial effects on health outcomes followed reduced exposure to air pollution. It’s critical that governments adopt and enforce WHO guidelines for air pollution immediately. Wikimedia Commons

Similarly, when China imposed factory and travel restrictions for the Beijing Olympics, lung function improved within two months, with fewer asthma-related physician visits and less cardiovascular mortality.

“Fortunately, reducing air pollution can result in prompt and substantial health gains. Sweeping policies affecting a whole country can reduce all-cause mortality within weeks,” Schraufnagel said.

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Local programmes, such as reducing traffic, have also promptly improved many health measures, said the study. (IANS)