Diagnosing asthma

A 21st century challenge

It is increasingly clear that asthma is not a single condition but a collection of symptoms caused by different mechanisms. Diagnostic tests have not kept pace with these advances in our scientific understanding and there are still no tests that can accurately diagnose asthma or differentiate between different types of asthma. This results in under- and over-diagnosis, which can leave people confused, anxious and often on the wrong treatment.

To highlight how we can begin to meet this challenge, Asthma UK has published a report, Diagnosing asthma: a 21st century challenge, which calls for industry, academia and government to address this urgent unmet need. 

Read about how we can work together to meet the challenge of asthma diagnosis.

Download our report (PDF, 2Mb)

The report calls for the development of new tests that answer the following, fundamental questions for people with asthma: 

  • Do I have asthma?
  • Will I/my child have asthma?
  • What type of asthma do/will I have?

It also makes a series of recommendations to address the challenge of asthma diagnosis, including:

  1. Major funders to create a bold ‘grand challenge’ funding stream
  2. Creation of a UK Centre of Excellence for asthma diagnostics R&D
  3. Opinion leaders to promote the understanding of asthma as an umbrella term for many different conditions with distinct mechanisms.

Bringing asthma diagnosis up to the level we have come to expect of 21st century medicine will only be achieved through a ‘team science’, collaborative approach to research and innovation.

Please read our report for more on how we can transform the lives of people with asthma through fast, early and accurate diagnosis and if you have ideas on how to help us to realise this vision, please contact research@asthma.org.uk.

If you have an innovative idea for a research or test development project, we encourage you to apply to our joint funding round with Innovate UK.  

Apply for funding for asthma research and development