AIR Louisville: Addressing Asthma With Technology, Crowdsourcing, Cross-Sector Collaboration, And Policy

Health Aff (Millwood). 2018 Apr;37(4):525-534. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2017.1315.


Cross-sector partnerships benefit public health by leveraging ideas, resources, and expertise from a wide range of partners. In this study we documented the process and impact of AIR Louisville (a collaboration forged among the Louisville Metro Government, a nonprofit institute, and a technology company) in successfully tackling a complex public health challenge: asthma. We enrolled residents of Louisville, Kentucky, with asthma and used electronic inhaler sensors to monitor where and when they used medication. We found that the use of the digital health platform achieved positive clinical outcomes, including a 78 percent reduction in rescue inhaler use and a 48 percent improvement in symptom-free days. Moreover, the crowdsourced real-world data on inhaler use, combined with environmental data, led to policy recommendations including enhancing tree canopy, tree removal mitigation, zoning for air pollution emission buffers, recommended truck routes, and developing a community asthma notification system. AIR Louisville represents a model that can be replicated to address many public health challenges by simultaneously guiding individual, clinical, and policy decisions.

Keywords: Asthma; Chronic Care; Determinants Of Health; Environmental Health; cross-sector collaboration; digital health; mhealth; public-private partnership; respiratory disease; sensor; technology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthma* / drug therapy
  • Biomedical Technology / instrumentation*
  • Crowdsourcing*
  • Female
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Kentucky
  • Male
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Public Health
  • Public-Private Sector Partnerships*


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents