A new Asthma Technology Fund worth over £3 million has been launched to support the development and adoption of scalable and effective asthma health technologies, from concept stage through to scaling within the NHS.

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

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.

New technology solutions could help prevent asthma deaths

Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, NIHR and EPSRC are looking for big, ambitious applications from multi-disciplinary teams of leading researchers, tech companies and NHS trusts. They are looking to fund the development and testing of user-centered technology that will reimagine and transform of the way people with asthma and their health care professionals manage their asthma and help stop preventable asthma deaths.

Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Innovation at Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership, said: “We are absolutely 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 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.”