In January, as a result of widespread fires, the air quality in many Australian cities and towns was rated among the worst in the world.

Unfortunately, older adults are often particularly sensitive to air pollution and smoke. The effects of air pollution can range from shortness of breath, coughing or a runny nose, to the aggravation of heart disease and stroke, lung diseases (such as COPD) and asthma. Studies have shown that air pollution is linked to higher rates of hospitalisation and risk of death among older people.

Understanding when a client is experiencing poor air quality

At Umps, in response to the widespread air pollution we are experiencing, we now monitor the Air Quality Index in the suburbs of each of our users. The Air Quality Index is a measure of the presence of harmful gases such carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and sulfur dioxide as well as the concentration of fine particles (PM2.5 and PM10) in the air.

If your clients don’t use Umps Health, you can view a real-time map of Australia’s air quality from the World Air Quality Index project here.

If your clients do use Umps Health, their Smart Home will now collect real-time data on the air quality of the suburb they live in. This information is sourced from the relevant environmental authorities in each of Australia’s states and territories. If the air quality in a person’s suburb is lower than the levels deemed healthy for sensitive groups, an alert will be raised to that person’s nominated contacts. Care providers can also easily see which of their clients are currently experiencing dangerous levels of air pollution through a provider report.

If you would like to learn more about how we measure air quality, the types of alerts we raise or whether the Umps Smart Home could be right for your client, contact us on or call 1300 907 272.