Nina Sakhnini

CS Ph.D. student, University of Illinois at Chicago
UI Engineer, Caterpillar

nsakhn2 [AT]

Designing low-cost personal pollution exposure tracker

Helping Older Adults Manage the Environmental Risk Factors for Cognitive Impairment

Abstract. Recent epidemiological studies suggest that age-related cognitive decline—particularly, the stages between normal cognitive changes in aging and early dementia— is adversely affected by environmental exposures, such as long-term air pollution and traffic noise. Although monitoring outdoor air pollution is now commonplace, and smart home solutions for monitoring indoor air quality is becoming prevalent, ways that the elderly can record long-term environmental exposures and adopt healthy lifestyle changes are little explored. We present myCityMeter, a pollution exposure management tool for older adults and their caregivers. myCityMeter measures the pollutants shown to be associated with cognitive impairment in older adults: PM2.5 and ambient noise. Using a set of neighborhood-level stationary and personal mobile sensors, myCityMeter helps users to monitor their environmental exposures, know potential exposures when planning activities, journal cognitive performances, and take day-to-day actions to avoid the environmental risk factors for early dementia.