Members of the team behind the Healthy PA app, from left: Ladislav Šnajdárek, Klaudia Köbölová and Libor Kudela | Autor: Jan ProkopiusThe team consisting of three mechanical engineers and two computer scientists who succeeded in the university round of the competition with the Healthy PA mobile application will represent Brno University of Technology (BUT) in the 2nd round of the European CESAER Student Challenge 2023. The application targets those who enjoy outdoor sports activities such as running or cycling and want to avoid air pollution. In addition to information on specific health risks, the app will offer insight into its terminology and data base. The idea from BUT thus has the potential to please geeks and users in general with a deeper interest in the technical workings of things.
One of the motivations for the developers to participate in the project was the large amount of data on air pollution, which comes from the State Network of Emission Monitoring operated by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI). "It was the kind of idea that you have in a drawer for a long time, waiting for an opportunity to use it. In the beginning, the idea was to see if the emission monitoring data could be used for something informative about our health. We looked at current scientific articles on calculating health risks for the human body and by combining the data from emission monitoring with the predictive capabilities of neural networks, we created a smart model whose strength is that it can extrapolate the data even to areas without direct measurements," explains one of the team members Ladislav Šnajdárek, who works at the Energy Institute of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the BUT (FME).
The app targets those who enjoy outdoor sports activities such as running or cycling and want to avoid air pollution | Autor: Healthy PAThe application itself works by entering the location, the starting time of the activity and the type of activity the user is going to engage in into an interface created by another member of the team, János Lászlo Vasík from the Faculty of Information Technology of the BUT. In just 30 seconds, the user gets information about the IAQ index (Indoor Air Quality Index), the amount of particulate matter inhaled per minute, the recommended duration of the activity and other meteorological data such as the UV index value (the level of solar ultraviolet radiation).
"Because we are part of a university, we wanted our product to add value in the area of education. With our app, the user should not only get a few stars for a great performance, but we wanted to impart knowledge as well. We wanted to bring our scientific basis that we use closer to people," explains the focus of the Healthy PA app Šnajdárek. For more advanced users and die-hard technology fans, the app will also offer explanations of calculations and terminology.
The Vice-Rector of the BUT Iveta Šimberová welcomed the winning team and presents the award to its member Klaudia Köbölová | Autor: Jan Prokopius"In most similarly focused apps, users see a colourful interface or some numbers, but have no idea where the data comes from. We wanted to change that," adds Klaudia Köbölová. The PhD student from FME, who acts as the team leader and was the main initiator of the application for the competition, adds another motivation. We were motivated by the fact that we can try something different from the classic projects like TAČR, that we can combine our scientific know-how with creativity."
The winners convinced the expert jury not only with their idea, its user-friendliness, but also with its commercial potential. "We liked the fact that you came up with a project that has a chance to attract attention. It has a catchy and telling name, you have chosen the target group in line with current trends in sports and health care, and you have also looked at the problem from the point of view of selling the idea," said Iveta Šimberová, Vice Rector of the BUT, on behalf of the jury when presenting the nomination.
The developers will now wait to see if their idea also appeals to the judges from the CESAER network of European science and technology universities and will receive one of three invitations to the annual meeting on 19 October 2023 in Madrid, where the winner will be announced and awarded a €20,000 prize.
Terms of the competition
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