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New fund launched to revolutionise asthma technology

Two parents with a young child using an inhaler

A new fund, launched today, aims to support the development of innovative, life-changing new asthma technologies.

The fund has been launched by Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, with the National Institute for Health Research and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Innovative new technologies

Asthma care lags many other chronic conditions when it comes to tech-enabled self-management. In 2016 Asthma UK identified the condition as ideally placed to be transformed by technology in their Connected Asthma report, highlighting the possible benefits of smart inhalers, health apps and remote monitoring.

However, there are still very limited technology options for people with asthma to help them manage their condition.

To help solve the biggest unmet needs in asthma care, more than £3 million will be available through the fund to support the development and adoption of scalable and effective asthma health technologies, from concept stage through to scaling within the NHS.

Ambitious proposals

Applications are sought from multi-disciplinary teams to develop user-centred technology that will enable the reimagination and transformation of the way people with asthma and their health care professionals manage their asthma and help stop preventable asthma deaths.

Dr Kedar Pandya, Director for Cross-Council Programmes, EPSRC, said:

New and emerging technologies, such as smart inhalers that link to personal devices, have the potential to revolutionise the way we diagnose, manage and treat asthma.

The Asthma Technology Fund announced today aims to attract ambitious proposals in order to realise this potential and improve the lives of people with asthma.

Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Innovation at Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership, said:

We are delighted to be investing in technology for asthma care. People with asthma are generally responsible for much of their day-to-day care, often only seeing their GP once a year for an annual asthma review.

Managing the multiple triggers and day-to-day changes of asthma is extremely challenging, but getting it right has the potential to prevent two thirds of asthma deaths.

We believe technology could play a vital role in this and are excited to see the novel solutions to preventing asthma attacks and improving the lives of people with asthma that are created as a result of this funding.

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