Clean Air Day: How air quality data empowers people with respiratory conditions.

Thursday 8th October 2020

Air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK every year[1]. According to the UK government and World Health Organisation, air pollution is the greatest environmental health risk we face today. It has a huge impact on our physical and mental health, from heart and lung disease to mental illnesses.

Clean Air Day is the UK’s biggest air pollution campaign. The goal is to raise awareness around the effects of poor air quality and encourage people to take simple steps to tackle air pollution for the protection of our health and the environment.

In support of Clear Air Day, we hear from Dr. Noel O’Kelly who shares his views on the impact of air quality with respiratory patients.

Impact of air quality on patients with respiratory conditions

It will come as no surprise that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are particularly vulnerable to the detrimental effects of air pollution. Poor air quality can cause the onset of asthma and acute exacerbation of COPD, leading to an increase in respiratory morbidity and mortality[2].

Evidence shows that the more exacerbations a patient has, the more at risk their lungs are of deterioration and the more likely they will experience further exacerbations. This can lead to the patient being admitted to hospital on a regular basis.

The importance of access to air quality data

Providing easy access to live air quality data in the local area, empowers patients to make better decisions on how to manage their everyday life and condition. For example, if a patient is notified  that the air quality outside their house is over 200 (based on the air quality index), they would know that the best plan of action to protect their health would be to avoid going outside and any strenuous activity that day.


“The impact impact of poor air quality on health is well documented. It can be difficult for vulnerable patients to have easily available and up to date information on their local air quality and what to do when air quality is poor. Spirt Digital in collaboration with the European Space Agency and Earthsense now feature this information within their remote monitoring platform CliniTouch Vie, so helping both patients and clinicians caring for vulnerable patients with long- term conditions.”

Dr Noel O’Kelly, Clinical Director

Providing live air quality data in CliniTouch Vie not only helps respiratory patients manage their own condition, but enables clinicians to give well-informed and personalised healthcare advice to patients.

Tackling air pollution

For Clean Air Day, Global Action Plan have put together a great set of resources to help healthcare organisations, schools, workplaces and the community inspire people to join the fight against air pollution.

We hope the 8th October will be the cleanest day yet! Check out the Clear Air Day website for advice and information on how you can play your part – https://www.cleanairday.org.uk/free-resources.


Get in touch

Our mission is to help COPD patients safely manage their condition at home to protect their health and well-being, while reducing the risk of emergency hospital admissions.

For a free demo of CliniTouch Vie with the air quality portal, email us at info@spirit-digital.co.uk or call 0800 881 5423.


[1] https://www.cleanairday.org.uk/about-clean-air-day

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740163/