Child engineer scoops top award for asthma monitor

Arnav SharmaMulti-talented nine-year-old Arnav Sharma has swept the board at this year’s prestigious Tech4Good Awards, winning two top honours.

Arnav, the youngest ever Tech4Good finalist, took home the Winners of Winners and People’s Award for his device that helps asthma sufferers.

The fledgling inventor was inspired to develop a potentially lifesaving solution after seeing one of his friends at school experience an attack. He was also moved to help his aunt, who suffers from severe asthma and is particularly affected by dust.

After studying the cause, diagnosis and effect of asthma, Arnav discovered one of the most effective ways to manage the condition is by understanding the trigger factors to prevent attacks.

He applied his self-taught coding skills, often learning further complex technology on his own, to create the award-winning AsthmaPi kit.

Helping parents, helping children

The kit is a device that helps parents manage and monitor the wellbeing of their asthmatic children, measuring room conditions while also reminding them when medication needs to be taken.

Asthma factsIt uses a Raspberry Pi, a Sense Hat, an MQ-135 Gas Sensor, a Sharp Optical Dust Sensor and an Arduino Uno and is programmed in Python and C++.

The sensors on the SenseHAT are used to measure temperature and humidity, while the MQ gas sensor detects nitrogen compounds, carbon dioxide, cigarette smoke, smog, ammonia and alcohol, all known asthma triggers.

There is also an accompanying booklet which describes the condition and how to treat it as well as a short video that shows the device in action.


What it means to win

Arnav battled fierce competition to claim the Tech4Good People’s Award, winning the public vote held on Twitter and the Tech4Good website. The audience at the ceremony were equally impressed, declaring him the Winner of Winners.

“I am very happy and very overwhelmed. People said such nice things about me,” says an excited Arnav of his success.

“All the other finalists were great and had such cool innovations, so I’m really thankful that I won.”

What the future holds

Arnav’s is now looking for sponsorship to develop the kit further by making it smaller and portable.

“I’m really happy that winning these awards might help make AsthmaPi a commercial product. This could help millions of children with asthma and possibly save lives,” he explains.

Arnav, who enjoys art, playing chess and is a gifted musician, is working on a AsthmaPi website.

You can follow the progress of AsthmaPi on Twitter and for more, contact Arnav’s proud mum, Manisha on Facebook.

The Tech4Good awards celebrate technological innovation that makes the world a better place.

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