What does Pollen Pulse do?
Pollen Pulse uses your smartphone to crowd source potentially problematic hayfever conditions in your nearby area.
How much does it cost?
There is no cost. Pollen Pulse is free to use.
How does it work?
Pollen Pulse uses real time reports from hayfever sufferers to determine whether a potential area might be problematic. The interface enables users to frequently check-in to rate the severity of their hayfever symptoms as well as their current location. They can also see the hayfever experience of others around them. You can login to Pollen Pulse through your Facebook account.
How are my symptoms rated?
Pollen Pulse uses a self-rating system to record the severity of symptoms. The 100-point scale ranges from controlled hayfever (when symptoms are not bothersome at all), through to uncontrolled (when symptoms are very bothersome). Entries are weighted based on the severity of symptoms and the amount of entries in a given area.
How do you know where my hayfever attack occurred?
Pollen Pulse uses your smartphone’s inbuilt location technology to pinpoint your location.
Why would I use it?
No-one likes getting hayfever symptoms but unfortunately they can strike at any time. That’s why My Hayfever developed Pollen Pulse, to harness the power of the hayfever sufferer community and make it easier to identify potential issues.
Why would we need something like this?
Currently there is no national standardised pollen monitoring program, meaning that many hayfever sufferers can’t take preventative action to ward off symptoms. Using Pollen Pulse, hayfever sufferers can use their smartphone to alert other people in their area about potential attacks.
How accurate is it?
The more people that use Pollen Pulse, the more useful it becomes. While no crowd sourcing app compares to the accuracy of a scientific pollen counter, we hope that the support of hayfever sufferers across the country will help generate useful information.
Who created it?
The app has been developed by My Hayfever, an allergic rhinitis education initiative sponsored by Meda Pharmaceuticals. The aim of My Hayfever is to provide sufferers with useful information about their condition.
Will it work on my Apple/Android/Windows smartphone?
Pollen Pulse is a web-based app, meaning it can be accessed by anyone with an Internet-connected smartphone. You can save the link to Pollen Pulse on your home screen or internet browser preferences for faster access.
How do I download it?
Because Pollen Pulse is a web-based app, there’s no need to download. Visit myhayfever.com.au to find more details on how to access Pollen Pulse on your particular smartphone.
Is this a replacement for pollen monitors?
No, in fact one of the big drivers of the Pollen Pulse program has been to help raise awareness about the need for a national pollen index.
Will my personal information be used?
Can I access Pollen Pulse via my PC?
You can visit Pollen Pulse on your smartphone, tablet or even PC. Note however, some location based services might not be able to be accessed via your device, if not, you can simply add a postcode manually.
Do I need an Internet connection to access Pollen Pulse?
Yes, Pollen Pulse relies on real time data to keep you updated about nearby hayfever conditions or to update your own symptoms and this requires a working Internet connection. However you can also download a free four-week hayfever symptom diary from the My Hayfever website. This information may be useful for your doctor when considering your treatment options.
Where can I get more information on pollen levels?
If you’re lucky enough to live in areas such as Melbourne, Sydney or Canberra then you can access some great city-specific information put together by dedicated researchers. Unfortunately other areas in Australia don’t necessarily have similar resources. One of the reasons we launched “Pollen Pulse” was to help ‘raise awareness about the need for a national pollen index.
What about pollen data in other cities?
Some services give an approximation of the likelihood of pollen being present based on current climatic conditions such as wind direction and temperature, as well as time of the year. Other services may take readings from a single pollen counter. It’s best to check how each service works.
Why don’t we have a national pollen index?
Until recently there has not been any organisation to specifically fund research into the monitoring of hayfever allergens. However a new initiative, called the Australian Pollen Allergen Partnership, is currently looking at establishing the first national standardised pollen monitoring program.
Don’t past experiences with initiatives such as Google Flu Tracker suggest this won’t work?
Pollen Pulse is not a replacement for pollen monitoring programs such as the one being proposed by the Australian Pollen Allergen Partnership. We hope the data collected might be useful to researchers in the future.