October 4, 2018

Published by: Blue Shield of California Foundation and SmartAirLA

Part of Blue Shield of California Foundation’s $3.5 million grantmaking to assess the value of prevention in community health.

Los Angeles Calif. – Blue Shield of California Foundation announced a grant of $250,000 to SmartAirLA to improve community health by empowering asthmatic children and their communities to take control of asthma in Los Angeles County through technology.

In Los Angeles County, asthma is the leading cause of hospitalizations among underserved children. Over one third of low-income children with asthma in the county went to the emergency room or urgent care for asthma treatment in the last year.

Through Blue Shield of California Foundation’s grant and support from Adherium, SmartAirLA will provide underserved children with asthma with Bluetooth-sensor enabled inhalers that will remind them to take their medication and help doctors monitor medication regimen. Clinical studies report that “smart” inhaler usage can reduce hospital admissions related to poor asthma control by 81%, which would create significant cost savings for the health system. The “smart” inhalers will also pinpoint asthmatic hotspots for air pollution mitigation.

“This project puts the internet-of-things in the hands of the people who need it the most, underserved children who are literally, struggling for breath,” said Peter Long, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Foundation, “And it will help their communities advocate for a healthier environment with a powerful new dataset.”

“SmartAirLA holds great promise for improving the health outcomes among children in Los Angeles County with asthma, and for identifying potentially toxic community environments in need of remediation,” said Dr. Paul Simon, Chief Science Officer of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“The health and environmental data collected by SmartAirLA will benefit the City of Los Angeles’ clean air and sustainability efforts and help us to better support healthy data-driven outcomes for all Angelenos,” said Jeanne Holm, Senior Technology Advisor to the Mayor of Los Angeles.

This grant is part of the Foundation’s work to identify and solve the root causes of poor health through community-focused, systems change. In this round of funding, the Foundation awarded $3.5 million to sixteen new projects that explore the value of prevention.

To learn more, visit https://blueshieldcafoundation.org/blog/value-prevention and www.smartairla.org.


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About Blue Shield of California Foundation

Blue Shield of California Foundation is one of the state’s largest and most trusted philanthropic organizations. Our mission is to build lasting and equitable solutions that make California the healthiest state, with the lowest rate of domestic violence. To learn more, visit www.blueshieldcafoundation.org.

About SmartAirLA

SmartAirLA advances the health and environmental equity for underserved communities in Los Angeles County by transforming how we treat childhood asthma through technology and data. We are a public-private partnership with the Asthma Coalition of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, City of Los Angeles, USC Department of Preventive Medicine, UCLA Medical Imaging Informatics Group, Adherium Company, FUSE Corps, Los Angeles Coalition for Economy and Jobs, and Community Partners. To learn more, visit www.smartairla.org.