In this interview, we spoke to KAMU Health, the winning startup for Challenge 1 of the Nordic Smart City Challenge. KAMU offers digital therapeutics to help users manage their respiratory care. We spoke to CPO and co-founder Seppo Salorinne to find out more about their smart city solution.

Tell us a bit about your company; where do you come from, what’s your mission?

KAMU was founded in 2017 in Helsinki, on the idea that patients living with asthma, COPD and other respiratory conditions deserve an equal opportunity for digital therapeutics and remote care as patients with other chronic conditions. The result was a CE-marked self-management service with a hospital-grade spirometer device and a smartphone app for tracking medication, symptoms, triggers and monitoring the spirometry results.

How does your solution help to solve Nordic urban challenges?

Changes in air quality and weather can trigger symptoms of respiratory diseases, which is why local weather and air quality forecasts have been an important part of the KAMU service from the beginning. Later on, we realised the possibility to go even further with this feature, building a meter for personal exposure to air pollution. It’s useful for anyone, not just those with lung conditions – and it doesn’t require any new devices, just a smartphone that most citizens already have anyway, which makes it widely accessible.

The solution makes the air pollution exposure visible to the user: when and where they have been exposed to pollutants the most. The service recognises how the user is moving (by foot, by car, on public transport etc.) and uses their location, combining it with hyperlocal air quality data and thus calculating the user’s exposure to bad-quality air. KAMU can thus provide the user notifications and information that helps them understand better the connection between their health and the air they breathe. The data is also important and useful for the Smart City, because it reveals when and where are the most polluted areas and which pollutants the citizens are exposed to the most.

What is your vision for Nordic smart cities of the future?

We see future Smart Cities as active and safe environments that work on the basis of the citizens’ needs. The city and the society around the citizen will work more and more as a platform for digital services, both providing information and utilising it in their functions. Some examples of this could be land use services or tracking which real-world services the citizens use and taking that into account in urban planning.

Visit KAMU Health’s website to find out more about their mission.