Future watch

New collaborations to improve asthma treatment

February 28, 2019


Innovate UK and Asthma UK are funding three projects to help ensure asthma patients receive better treatment.

Although 5.4 million people in the UK are affected by asthma, diagnosing the condition is difficult. Current testing often leads to misdiagnosis and diagnosing pre-school children is particularly challenging.

In a series of three-year projects in Manchester, Edinburgh and Portsmouth, collaborations between academics and innovative businesses will lead to improved treatment options.

With each project set to receive more than £200,000, it is expected that patients will see an improvement in services thanks to new diagnostic testing that better predicts response to treatment.

The projects will also provide doctors with improved decision support systems, reducing workload for GPs and leading to more personalised treatment.

The three collaborative projects are:

University of Manchester and Owlstone Medical

This partnership will develop new tests for diagnosis. It will look at the small airways in the lungs to assess treatment response. The aim is to reduce the number of people that are wrongly diagnosed and are taking unnecessary medication.

University of Edinburgh and Tactuum

This project will design a new clinical decision support system to help medical professionals diagnose asthma. Assessments of the patient will improve with the intention that it will lead to more personalised treatment plans.

Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth & Cambridge and Respiratory Innovations

In order to speed up the journey to diagnosis – and reduce costs in doing so – this project will test a new device that measures gases in exhaled breath to quickly diagnose asthma.

Dr Kath Mackay, Interim Director Ageing Society, Health & Nutrition at Innovate UK, said:

“Many of us either are or know asthma sufferers, so are only too aware of the pressing need for better diagnosis and improved, personalised treatments. By choosing to work in partnership with leading charities such as Asthma UK, we can connect businesses to the resources that the charities may have. This can be access to patients, new ideas and the ability to generate real world evidence.”

by Editor