My Air, My Health – My Experience at Health Datapalooza

Dot Kelly is a team member of Conscious Clothing, winner of  the My Air, My Health challenge.

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It was about this time last year that my colleagues and I were in the thick of preparing for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Human Health Services (HHS) My Air, My Health Challenge. The Challenge called upon innovators nationwide to design a small, low-cost sensor that integrated air quality measurements with health data such as heart rate and breathing. This was to help inform the EPA and HHS’ collective work to better understand the impacts of harmful air pollution on people’s health.

In other words, the competition called for a solution that would move us all toward a future in which powerful, affordable and portable sensors provide a rich awareness of environmental quality, moment-to-moment physiological changes, and long-term health outcomes.

The solution we devised is an A-ware groove strip device that will potentially enable health care to be connected to the whole environment, improving diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Conscious Clothing – what we called our solution — uses a lightweight, inexpensive breath monitor that also contains a fine particle monitor that can download real-time information on both pollution and respiration to a cellphone.

Inspired, spur of the moment, to enter the contest, we then found ourselves up against some incredible competitors – including Philips Healthcare  and a consortium of Air Casting, NYU and Carnegie Mellon – that were going to be hard to beat.

Then the email came that our My Air, My Health prototype had won the $100,000 and that we were to showcase our invention at the 2013 Datapalooza in Washington, D.C. Our team, David Kuller, Gabrielle Savage Dockterman and me, was overjoyed.

Being given the award at the 2013 Health Datapalooza provided a wonderful opportunity to showcase our device, be interviewed by the press, and have numerous demonstrations and discussions with researchers, business people interested in our device, and other start-up health data entrepreneurs. The event was arranged so that there was ample opportunity for networking during breaks and meals, in the exhibition halls, and in nearby conference rooms.

If you are either a developer or a user looking for cutting edge health data offerings and conversations, the Annual Health Datapalooza is the show for you. It will be taking place again this year, June 1-3, in Washington, D.C. We look forward to seeing you there.

We are continuing development and look forward to working with interested potential partners. Please contact Dot Kelly at for further information or if you have any questions.