The POLARISE project is developing a prediction model for pollen load and allergies with altered biodiversity as part of the BMBF funding measure "Junior Research Groups Climate, Environment and Health
Pollen can cause severe symptoms in allergy sufferers. POLARISE is investigating potentially highly allergenic pollen from new plants appearing in Germany as a result of climate change in order to develop a warning system.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, about one third of the population in Germany is seasonally affected by allergic rhinitis. Pollen allergies can severely restrict the quality of life, for example through runny nose and eye tears. In the course of changes in biodiversity, new plants, some of them highly allergenic, are appearing in Central and Northern Europe, while the flowering season of native species is changing due to climate change. This increases the risk of multiple allergies, which is already a known phenomenon in Southern Europe.
The POLARISE junior research group combines research approaches from aerobiology, biodiversity research, data science and clinical research with the innovative goal of integrating clinical data into a prediction model for pollen exposure and allergy symptoms.
Based on daily updated symptom data sets collected by citizens themselves in a citizen science approach, the predictions will for the first time include not only pollen exposure but also its clinical relevance. In addition, machine learning methods will make it possible to predict the exposure for the next three days and thus provide patients and medical staff in particular with the basis for informed decisions.
The interdisciplinary research approach of POLARISE is intended to contribute to strengthening the public health system in Germany and Europe by enabling well-founded measures for early prevention at both the community and individual level.
Stephanie Dramburg, MD
Clinic for Paediatrics with focus on Pneumology/Immunology
Charité - University Medicine Berlin
Phone: +49 30 450 559 839
Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich