ESA signs Spirit Digital for air quality monitoring platform


Spirit Digital has been awarded a European Space Agency (ESA) contract to develop an air quality monitoring platform.

CliniTouch Vie 2 will use data from satellites and mobile air sensors to provide a warning system to people with chronic respiratory conditions so they can better manage their day-to-day lives.

Combined with vital signs monitoring, the platform is designed to provide an advanced warning of when a patient’s condition is likely to deteriorate and prompt them to take pre-emptive measures.

Initially planned to help people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Spirit Digital plans to expand the platform to include asthma and other respiratory conditions in future.

Chris Barker, CEO of Spirit Health Group, said: “We know that poor air quality contributes to morbidity and mortality, and is estimated to have cost £157 million in health and social care in 2017. Yet, we can change this.

“By providing an enhanced system that will offer advanced warning of potential condition deterioration alongside pre-emptive intervention data, we can shift the focus from treatment to prevention.

“We are delighted that the ESA has recognised the huge potential of CliniTouchVie 2 and are thrilled to be working alongside our partners to deliver this ground-breaking project.”

Spirit Digital’s cloud-based CliniTouch Vie systems allows individuals to monitor their condition at home.

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust has been using the platform since July 2018 for the remote monitoring of heart failure patients.

According to Spirit Health Group, there are 1.2 million people diagnosed with COPD in the UK alone, causing in excess of 140,000 unscheduled hospital admissions and 30,000 deaths per year.

The ESA initiative will see Spirit Digital lead a project team comprising air quality monitoring network, EarthSense; not-for-profit technology accelerator Satellite Applications Catapult; and NHS support organisation Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit, to add Earth observation data into CliniTouch Vie.

In addition, global navigation satellite system (GNSS) data will be used to track the location of both patients and mobile air quality sensors, to provide position-based information on pollution concentrations.

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