A new fund that aims to support life changing technology for people with asthma has been launched by Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, along with National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
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The fund will support the development and adoption of scalable and effective asthma health technologies, from concept stage through to scaling within the NHS.
The organisations backing the fund are looking applications from multi-disciplinary teams of leading researchers, tech companies and NHS trusts. They are looking to fund the development and testing of user-cantered technology that will transform of the way people with asthma and their health care professionals manage their asthma and help stop preventable asthma deaths.
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‘We are absolutely delighted to be investing in technology for asthma care,’ said Dr. Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Innovation at Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership.
‘People with asthma are generally responsible for much of their day-to-day care, often only seeing their GP once a year for an asthma review or in an emergency. Managing multiple asthma triggers and day-to-day changes in asthma symptoms 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.’
Asthma affects 5.4m people in the UK and results in around 70,000 hospital admissions and 1100 deaths every year. It is a common condition that has the potential to be transformed by technology; Asthma UK’s 2016 Connected Asthma report highlighted the possible benefits of smart inhalers, health apps and remote monitoring to reduce asthma attacks and reduce symptoms. However, four years on, technology options for people with asthma to help them manage their condition are still very limited.
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‘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,’ said Dr Kedar Pandya, Director for Cross-Council Programmes, EPSRC.
‘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.’