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EFA – AirPROM Annual Meeting in Barcelona

The European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA) attended the annual meeting for Airway Disease Predicting Outcomes through Patient Specific Computational Modelling (AirPROM).

The project, which started in 2011, seeks to create digital and physical models of airway systems of people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The models intend to improve diagnosis, disease monitoring, matching of treatments to patients, identifying targets for research, understanding of the diseases and the quality of life of patients through the use of personalised medicine.

The project which will be receiving datasets from other research projects on asthma and COPD, will then integrate all datasets from clinical trials and studies from within AirPROM for a more robust basis for moving forwards with research within AirPROM. For example, there will be better comparisons of airways disease and emphysema their effects on the respiratory system.

During the event, multiple clinical studies of the AirPROM project were presented. For example, in a thermoplasty study (a treatment for patients delivering heat to lung tissue to reduce the amount of smooth muscle present in the airway wall), the objective will be to understand the effects of the procedure and whether or not it works better among some patients than others.

Another study on ‘ventilation heterogeneity’ evaluated the various differences between patients in their physical lung defects which hinder their breathing. Understanding the basis of the problem can potentially indicate reasons for the onset of decreasing lung function, especially in diseases where it accelerates quickly, and can be an early indicator for potential airway obstruction in the future.

These ongoing studies will be vital for ensuring the construction of the respiratory system models which accurately reflect the effects of different respiratory diseases on patients as well as the potential effects of different treatments.

The annual meeting addressed major issues related to the online ‘knowledge management portal’ and data storage, the consortium publication policy, an application for the project’s extension and an exploitation strategy for the project. EFA confirmed the EU Projects Event in Brussels on June 17th as a dissemination opportunity for the AirPROM consortium.

Originally posted on 14 May 2014

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