Although asthma has been heavily studied over the past several years, there are still many mysteries regarding what causes it and what all triggers an asthma attack. Things such as weather, air quality, traffic, trees, temperature, and wind direction are all potential factors.

More data is needed to understand how asthma works in the real world, so that people can be better prepared and conditions can improve. That’s why the city of Louisville, Kentucky has collaborated with private and philanthropic organizations to launch the AIR Louisville program.

The program uses unique sensors developed by Propeller Health which are attached to inhalers and track when, where, and how often the inhalers are used. Previously, Propeller Health tried this with 300 inhalers. Now, they’ll be expanding the program to 2,000 inhalers all across the city.

According to Ted Smith, the chief of civic innovation at the Louisville Metro Government, “The goal of the AIR Louisville program is to use data… to make smarter choices about how we improve the quality of life for our residents. By collecting data about where and when residents have asthma attacks we can help inform public policy that will reduce the burden of asthma citywide. The program will also help physicians, patients, and our employers understand asthma triggers and do a better job managing this health problem.”

The program will be collecting data from a diverse group that represents the different ethnicities and income levels of Louisville. The program is expected to run for two years.