PAQS-Solving The Air Pollution

Personal Air Quality Systems (PAQS), a Bengaluru-based startup, provides intelligent air quality solutions to tackle the global concern of air pollution, the smart way. With nine out of ten people breathing polluted air every day, air pollution is considered by WHO as the greatest environmental risk to health in 2019.

A Vaidyanathan, Co-Founder & CEO

Urbanisation, manifold increase in vehicular traffic and industrialisation have led to a rapid rise in pollution levels, and India loses about 2.5 million people annually to air pollution. The associated annual health cost is upwards of Rs.1.5 lakh crore each year. A Vaidyanathan, Co-Founder & CEO, was spurred to work on its products after a friend’s asthmatic daughter didn’t survive a seizure on a cold winter night after forgetting to carry an inhaler. As data pertaining to air quality and pollution was non-existent, Vaidyanathan, a technocrat, decided to work on a “tech-based end-to-end solution that can capture data and send it to the cloud, map pollution exposure and user’s medication, and do the analytics before issuing an advisory.”

PAQS offers an array of bio-medical solutions and diagnostic devices that capture real-time environment data to provide analytics and advisory around the inhaled air. It has solutions in three verticals: outdoor, indoor, and personal, which are an amalgamation of hardware, software, and analytical capabilities. These solutions have been deployed across the country to benefit various smart city projects.

Urbanisation is directly correlated to pollution; carefully calibrated development through the use of hyper-local environmental data analytics coupled with intelligent air quality solutions is the way ahead.

- A Vaidyanathan, Co-Founder & CEO

The solutions for the personalized category include Smart inhalers, Personal environment monitors (wearable devices), smartphone applications, and remote patient monitoring that analyse the inhaled air quality, predict the environment and issue alerts with advisories on the users’ smartphones.

Community level real-time and dynamic pollution mapping solutions offered by PAQS use secured data gathered through its products to generate data about the pollution level of any locality. The data analytics and predictive advisories can be leveraged to design energy-efficient buildings and effective traffic signal corridors, thereby creating public awareness about the level of pollution. Yet again, there was a dearth of data, this time of the outdoor environment, and the team created an architecture that’s capable of crowdsourcing data to enable rich information on hyper-local air quality. “Through curation of data, we can simultaneously create solutions for smart buildings and smart cities,” Vaidyanathan elaborates.

PAQS’ secured collaborative platform provides application program interfaces to receive and send data from all air monitoring devices to produce alerts, advocacies and health reports. This enables a development environment for business users and developers to create applications and IoT solutions on the company’s cloud-based data centre.

Armed with a distinct competitive edge, PAQS offers the best air quality mapping solutions. The challenge is to generate accurate data out of a low-cost product. Data generated by a sensor in lab conditions is always accurate and reliable. But in the field, the influence of uncontrollable external factors can result in erratic output. To override this, PAQS has created ‘context-aware calibration model (patent pending)’ in which the solution architecture takes field data and other incidental information to cross-verify, co-relate, compute, and model output. It is this innovative use of backend engines to leverage multiple technologies like IoT, location intelligence, ML and sensors to generate high accuracy data that makes PAQS unique in the world.

The company’s solutions have already been deployed in more than 11 Indian cities. Last year, it commenced the export of its products to Singapore and San Jose. Its list of awards includes Top Tech 25 Startups, Urban Challenge Award, IoT Startup Award, and Enterprising Startup Award among others. Clients of PAQS include industry leaders like CISCO, Honeywell, Elcita, Sterlite, and PWC.

Vaidyanathan wants more funding for high-end technological products like PAQS to take the company global. He says, “To create products, intellectual property, and technological leadership, we require risk capital, and encouragement, in the form of recognition, grants, and awards”.

Personal Air Quality Systems (PAQS)

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