ATS and 4DMedical Offering Grants for Research in COPD, Other Lung Diseases

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by Sara Guariglia |

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The American Thoracic Society (ATS), through its Research Program and with support from 4DMedical, announced it will award three, $50,000 grants for research using a new, non-invasive technology to assess lung health.

These one-year grant opportunities are focused on work into chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis research. The application process is open to eligible investigators from Oct. 1 through Dec. 1.

“These three grants are a welcome addition to the ATS Research Program,” MeiLan Han, MD, an ATS member, said in a society press release.

“Advanced technology in respiratory imaging and ventilation analysis has the potential to advance our understanding of lung diseases and guide decisions for patient care. We’re grateful the 4DMedical for providing these opportunities for further research,” Han added.

All three grants, totaling $150,000, will support work using 4DMedical’s XV Technology Lung Ventilation Analysis Software (XV LVAS).

XV LVAS is a new technology that permits a non-invasive way of assessing lung motion and airflow. The technology is used to create highly detailed maps of a patient’s lung motion and function with pinpoint accuracy — calculating ventilation, or air exchange, for all parts of the lung during all phases of breath.

The resulting maps are color-coded, and show how each of the areas in the lungs is functioning in three dimensions.

The fourth dimension (4D) is time, as the maps change while a person is breathing. This allows physicians to assess lung function during inhalation and exhalation within specific parts of the lungs.

According to 4DMedical, the XV LVAS software offers distinct advantages over other methods to assess lung function, and is particularly useful for evaluating patients with chronic lung diseases as it uses low levels of radiation, which allows for repeated measurements.

Test results are available quickly, helping healthcare providers to make treatment decisions in a timely manner. The software also helps in assessing treatment effectiveness and the disease course.

For those in intensive care who require mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) — a procedure using a kind of artificial lung — XV LVAS can be used to accurately measure lung ventilation, the company reports. This helps to optimize a patient’s treatment plan, potentially reduce the risk of lung injury, and shorten ventilation time.

“4DMedical aims to contribute to the ATS mission to help the world breathe by revolutionizing respiratory imaging and ventilation analysis,” said Andreas Fouras, PhD, founder, CEO, and chief technology officer (CTO) of 4DMedical.

“Our vision is to provide access to advanced technology providing patients and their doctors with better information and thereby promoting better outcomes for a wider range of patients with chronic and progressive lung diseases,” Fouras added.

Grant applicants for COPD must be “junior investigators,” defined as scientists within 12 years of being awarded a “terminal degree” like an MD or PhD. More information about the grants can be found using this link, as well as about their eligibility criteria.

The ATS Research Program was launched in 2004, and has since then awarded $19.3 million in research grants to 263 young investigators with the goal of advancing science and ultimately improving patient care.