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April 23 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

National Healthy Homes Webinar Series: Detection of Asthma Triggers in the Home: Novel Methods for Allergen and Mold Detection

Environmental exposure of asthmatics to allergens in homes results in lost sleep and days of school/work. These exposures differ in each home, and thus multifactorial allergen mitigation is necessary to improve asthma outcomes. However, targeted interventions can be challenging due to difficulty in identifying relevant exposures because direct allergen measurement is cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive. The goal of this work is to develop novel smartphone-based systems can allow for rapid, point-of-care detection of environmental allergens.

This webinar will describe improvements in color-based detection, patient education needs, and lateral flow assay capabilities that overcome limitations of prior home allergen detection methods. We will also describe our HUD-funded project to develop a smartphone-based system paired with a lateral flow assay to measure common allergens in homes of an asthma homecare program. The color correction algorithm can reduce up to 90% of color variance with images captured under different lighting conditions and performs 200% better than readings from the human eye. A needs assessment in a cohort of parents of pediatric asthma patients revealed interest in allergen mitigation to control their asthma and highlighted the need for allergen education.

The second half of the webinar will describe novel insights gained from measuring fungal function indoors that may lead to improvements in mold detection. Overall, novel allergen detection technologies can empower homecare programs to target limited resources to remediate the most important allergens in the homes of individuals with asthma.

Mother giving child inhaler as he has an asthma attack.

Venue: Online

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