RealForAll: Real-time measurements and forecasting for successful prevention and management of seasonal allergies in Croatia-Serbia cross-border region

“Real-time measurements and forecasting for successful prevention and management of seasonal allergies in Croatia-Serbia cross-border region” – RealForAll (2017HR-RS151)

Exposure to aeroallergens is associated with allergic rhinitis and asthma that significantly reduce quality of life and have a notable economic impact on society. Information on exposure risk is prerequisite for preventing symptoms and management allergic disease. In order to assist life with allergies and supporting self-management of symptoms, such information needs to be provided and disseminated to end users on time. There is a long-term awareness on the importance of aerobiological data in Europe, but applied methodology using the volumetric spore trap of the Hirst design provides only past data (1-7 days old). Such data, from public health point of view, can be used for observational retrospective analysis and strategy development only. In order to be of use for improvement the quality of life in pollen sensitive population, public health system in the region should provide real-time measurements of atmospheric pollen concentrations and forecasts, similarly as seen in the case of meteorology and airborne pollutants where assimilation of real-time data is necessary to increase the performance of atmospheric models.

A consortium consisted of BioSensе Institute – Research Institute for Information Technologies in Biosystems (Serbia), University of Novi Sad Faculty of Sciences (Serbia), University of Osijek (Croatia), City of Osijek (Croatia) has been established to implement RealForAll project (from 15th July 2017 to 14th January 2020) with the main objective to enable public health system that fulfils a role in assisting successful prevention and management of allergic reactions resulting from exposure to allergenic airborne pollen in Croatia-Serbia cross border region. To achieve this RealForAll will modernize public health service in the region and notably enhance the quality and applicative value of the information they provide: by introducing real time monitoring of airborne allergens, by developing models for prediction exposure and by creating a joint platform for instantaneous dissemination of these information. In addition, the project will make an effort to educate end users on the benefits from using aerobiological information for prevention and management of allergy symptoms.

A network of devices for real-time measurements of airborne pollen concentrations is expected to have a notable impact on aerobiological research, not only regionally but also on a European scale.

RealForAll project is co-financed by: the Interreg IPA Cross-border Cooperation programme Croatia – Serbia 2014-2020 (contract no. 2017HR-RS151); Republic of Serbia, Autonomous Province Vojvodina, Provincial secretariat for finances (contract no. 102-401-337/2017-02-4-35-8) and institutions implementing the project.