Pollen AllergyForecast System for Better Health and Wellness

Ended on February 5th 2017

pledged of $50,000AU

Pool up to help HayFever, Asthma, Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis sufferers by supporting PollenSmart!!

Joe Joseph

Flexible Funding
Health Australia

Invention comes from Necessity

Every problem has a solution, but when it comes to a personal issue, it takes time to find the real solution. It was a very hard time for me when my wife was severely suffering due to hay fever.  During this phase, I realised the gravity and severity of this disease and started wondering how it could be alerted and prevented as- “Prevention is better than Cure”.

With my background and expertise in remote sensing, satellite technology, GIS (Geographic Informatics System) I am trying to develop the innovative software application which will predict and forecast the pollen count indexes in different areas at post code level or to any location by latitude and longitude. It will be useful to Hay Fever, Asthmatic and all  ARC ( Allergic Rhinitis Conjunctivitis) patients by displaying risk areas with threats of high pollen count.



Promising Technology

My endeavours towards this initiative reaped success, and it received an award in Hatchathon16. The PollenSmart team with their modern satellite technology  for forecasting pollen indexes for people with respiratory illnesses received an honourable  mention from the judging panel.



PollenSmart innovative technology will have benefits towards the well-being of the society and various community suffering from allergy. This campaign will assist governments, health professionals and patients to improve health outcomes and improve QoF (Qality of Life) while reducing cost. The development of the mobile app and web-based solution through the use of this technology needs financial backing. Thus to make this a reality and to progress towards achieving the desirable outcome I need your support.

Severity of Health Issue 

ARC (Allergic Rhinitis Conjunctivitis) is a global health problem causing significant morbidity and have a major impact on health expenditure globally. Particular concern to ARC is pollen.

  • According to ASCIA (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy), the overall financial cost of allergies is estimated to be $9.55B in Australia alone
  • Further more,  the cost to the reduced Quality of Life is around $26.33B, nearly double the figures for arthritis ($14.3B) and hearing disability ($14.3B) in Australia.
  • Significant people suffer from pollen allergy globally and as per EAACI (European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology), nearly one in four people are allergy affected in developed countries.
  • According to Access Economics report 2008, the total economic impact of COPD was estimated to be $98.2 billion in Australia, which is $115.24 billion in 2015 cost. ARC is a major cause of COPD.
  • A correlation study shows that the number of sick leaves from work and the daily pollen level are strongly related.



Typical manifestations of pollen allergy include sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and even severe itchiness of the nose, eyes, and external auditory canal. In severe cases, pollen allergy can induce bronchitis, bronchial asthma, pulmonary heart disease, etc., thereby affecting the daily life, work, and travel of the affected population. Without timely treatment, pollen allergy can develop into chronic asthma, conjunctivitis, pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases, and in severe cases can cause heart failure, kidney damage, or other fatal diseases, or even shock and sudden cerebral death.

Nobel Laureate, Professor Barry Marshall, explains how certain weather conditions can  affect allergy/asthma sufferers due to pollen burst.


Nobel Prize winner explains Pollen burst and Asthma



On 21 November 16 in Melbourne, Australia 8 people died and thousands were admitted in hospital in a single day due to  severe pollen burst.  Around 8,500 people received hospital treatment in total on the day, with a third of patients who suffered asthma attacks on the night reporting never having had asthma before. This shows the seriousness of the Pollen Allergy.


Eighth death linked to thunderstorm asthma

 Again, another thunderstorm Aasthma hit Kuwait 10 Days after Melbourne event of simillar nature.

Need for Innovative Technology

The need to use innovative technology and the need to create a new pollensmart app which is different from the other existing ones are because they fail to address these issues: 

  • No prior warning or forecasting to prepare the patients or deploy resources in a timely manner (realtime or near realtime)
  • Inadequate communication among professionals and patients due to the multivariate nature of risk prediction.
  • No timely access to accurate and reliable information to prevent and control the disease
  • Current technologies are inaccurate manual ground based sensors like Burkhard-type devices. The coverage is very limited.
  • “Measurement upon occurrence’: measurements are possible only after pollen impact occurs.


imageThese are old dinosaur technology!


There is a smarter way! The answer is PollenSmart!

Powered by deep learning and artificial intelligence, PollenSmart  is changing the game for Pollen count and forecast!


The PollenSmart provides location-specific forecasting of pollen concentration based on satellite / aerial derived data on a global scale Anytime Anywhere. Being satellite based, implementation of this system gives Global coverage. 

The below picture shows the Science depicting the stages in pollen production through to pollen release, dispersal and impact on respiratory health. The influence of natural (biogeography and climate) and anthropogenic (land use and pollution), etc. factors on aspects of pollen aerobiology  and the modelling parameters are indicated.



PollenSmart will identify and forecast the concentration of airborne allergenic pollen through remote sensing technology powered by deep learning and artificial intelligence. PollenSmart is intended to be flexible and easy-to-use where new features will be added easily.





Jacob Malana is a former rocket scientist having worked with the space research organisations and industry over 35 years.

My involvement and interest in the PollenSmart project and technology is a result of my earlier research into various innovative applications of satellite data for Mapping, Agriculture , Disaster Management etc. 

The driving force behind his ventures is to combine emerging technology with his love for space technology solving the problems for our planet. He strives to increase awareness of our surroundings and shine a spotlight on the challenges that our planet faces. He believes our lives can be enriched if we dedicate some of our days to getting back to nature and plants without allergies.

Most of the work will be done through collaboration and outsourcing to Universities and Research organisations in Australia. The major partners are:


1. The University of Technology Sydney


2. University of  Sydney




Funds Utilisation

What we have done:

Our application successfully identifies vegetaion and pollens around Sydney in Australia using NASA Satellite  imagery. We used the historical  NASA satelltite data  for the past many years and did a pollen forecast.  We have built a wealth of supporting data to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Pollens and the Allergies developed due to Pollens from Vegetation. And here’s the big kicker: unlike other Pollen Apps currently in the market which uses ground based  technology, PollenSmart actually use leading edge technology and use satelltie data – it’s powered by artificial intelligence & deep learning algorithms.


About Our Algorithm

Our algorithm is, simply put, working like a dream. Our programmers have relayed the following:  

“We tested the models with existing ground based data on an area nearby Sydney, Australia. Our algorithm is able to detect grass pollens which are the major causes of pollen Allergy in Australia..”


Our Future Plan

PollenSmart is currently at an Early Stage.  

We need your help to build our full-featured mobile application.

The funds raised from this campaign will go directly into development of the PollneSmart App. These areas of our application require further work: 

Product development :

Our app is bare-bones at the moment. We need to work on the product design / user experience to assure that usability is flawless when it gets into the hands of our users.

We need to employ product and UX designers to take the experience to the next level. 

User Interface:

our User Interface needs to be refined, which involves employing a UI consultants. 

Predictive Algorithm:

we need to improve our database so PollenSmart’s predictive algorithm becomes more intuitive. This involves consulting with botanists, aero-biologists, subject matter experts, working with existing databases and field study, as well as working with our  researchers and developers on the technology. The more data we have, the more intelligent PollenSmart becomes. 

AI / Deep Learning integration:

This sophisticated technology does not come cheap; funds earned from our campaign will be going towards paying our  Research and Development team to work around the clock to make the PollenSmart  app more intuitive and relevant for your needs. 

Data source identification and mining:

a)      Identification and selection of the optimal datasets 

b)     Qualification of the data latency?

c)      Minimal modification for future work

d)     Will the datasets be maintained for XXX years

Algorithm development :

a)      Is the algorithm in line with the physical measurements?

b)     What is the latency?

c)      Is it readily applicable for potential clients as an API?

Server-side application development:

a)      Is the application timely and stable?

b)     Can this be readily modified to host  Global client needs?

Client-side application development:

a)      Is the interface informative while retaining intuitiveness?

b)     Can this be readily modified to host other needs? 


Spread Smiles by Sharing

If you want to see everyone smiling and sharing happiness then please support the campaign by spreading the word to the organisation and people who are involved around- 

  • Gov- State & Commonwealth• Patients  • Pharma Companies (symptomatic therapy +immunotherapy )• Diagnostics Companies – Pollen Bio Markers• Health funds/Insurance companies• CRO (Clinical Research Organisations)• Automotive –filters, masks• Enterprises/Workforce productivity• Medical Practitioners (GPs, Specialists• Aged care, Health clubs• Allergy Health Management companies• BoM (Beuro of Meteorology) on  billboards, website or mobile app• Hospitals• Tourism-4WD driving, bushwalking, hunting, cycling, touring, fishing, camping, etc• Third party forecasting companies, weather channels• Real Estate Agencies • API for s/w developers/companies• Social Networks • Researchers





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