News story

Developing new ways to diagnose asthma: apply for funding

Researchers and businesses can apply for a share of £1.25 million to develop tools to accurately diagnose asthma and help patients receive personalised care.

Paediatrician shows young boy how to use an asthma inhaler
Paediatrician shows young boy how to use an asthma inhaler. By Chompoo Suriyo via

Asthma UK and Innovate UK have up to £1.25 million to invest in ideas for improving the diagnosis of asthma so patients can more quickly receive better, personalised treatment.

Improving diagnosis and treatment

Each patient’s asthma is unique and has individual triggers that vary over time.

Current tests for asthma often lead to misdiagnosis and mean patients have to receive trial treatments to find what works for them. Up to 40% of people are put on the wrong treatment initially. Diagnosing asthma in pre-school children is extremely difficult.

Asthma UK is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the 5.4 million people in the UK whose lives are affected by asthma. It is contributing up to £750,000 to this joint funding competition, with Innovate UK investing £500,000.

Seeking quick, accurate and non-invasive tools

The competition is seeking proposals with potential for adoption or commercialisation. They should address a number of challenges including:

  • develop quick, accurate, reliable, low-cost, non-invasive tools capable of differentiating between different and changing asthma types
  • develop specific tools for under 5-years-olds able to predict those at risk of persistent asthma
  • prevent over and under-diagnosis of asthma using tools such as biomarkers, lung-function tests and ‘-omics’ technologies
  • use emerging technologies to ‘mechanise’ diagnostic processes in primary care and provide support to non-experts

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at 1pm on 27 March 2018
  • applications should be made through Asthma UK’s online management system
  • projects can be led by a researcher or a business but must include at least one business working in collaboration
  • we expect grants to range between £50,000 and £250,000 and for projects to last up to 3 years
  • businesses could attract up to 70% of their costs
Published 24 January 2018