Journal article

Using crowd-sourced allergic rhinitis symptom data to improve grass pollen forecasts and predict individual symptoms

Jeremy D Silver, Kymble Spriggs, Simon G Haberle, Constance H Katelaris, Edward J Newbigin, Edwin R Lampugnani



Seasonal allergic rhinitis (AR), also known as hay fever, is a common respiratory condition brought on by a range of environmental triggers. Previous work has characterised the relationships between community-level AR symptoms collected using mobile apps in two Australian cities, Canberra and Melbourne, and various environmental covariates including pollen. Here, we build on these relationships by assessing the skill of models that provide a next-day forecast of an individual's risk of developing AR and that nowcast ambient grass pollen concentrations using crowd-sourced AR symptoms as a predictor. Categorical grass pollen forecasts (low/moderate/high) were made based on binning mean daily s..

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Awarded by NHMRC

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution to this paper made by users of the Melbourne and Canberra Pollen Count apps. The Melbourne particulate matter concentration data was provided by the Victorian Environment Protection Authority and we thank Michael Stringer and Jason Choi for their help with obtaining it. The ACT particulatematter concentration datawas provided by the ACT health department. Weather datawas provided by the Bureau ofMeteorology andwe thank Tony Bannister for his help with obtaining it. Technical support for app development and data storage was provided by the University of Melbourne, especially Usha Nattala, Uli Felzmann, Joshua Lilly, MelissaMakin, Chris Stroud, Robert Sturrock and Baybars Tetik. Funding for theMelbourne Pollen Monitoring Program and for analysiswas provided by the University of Melbourne. Funding for the Canberra Pollen Monitoring Programwas provided by the Australian National University and ACT Health. We thank Pamela Burton (Campbelltown Hospital and Western Sydney University) for her assistancewith obtaining ethics approval and colleagues in the AusPollen network (NHMRC grant GNT1116107) for ongoing discussions.