SASKATOON, SK – Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, has announced funding of $235,000, under the Western Diversification Program, to help the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) develop and commercialize an innovative respiratory test and accompanying data analysis program to improve diagnosis of asthma and other respiratory diseases, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
The research is being led by Dr. Darryl Adamko, an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics. The test uses urine samples in the place of saliva or blood tests, where samples are be subjected to a mass spectroscopy scan to check for telltale molecules associated with asthma.
Asthma is the most common chronic illness of children and is a leading medical expense in Canada for adults and children. Diseases like COPD cause similar respiratory difficulties as asthma, but respond differently to treatment. A better test is needed for the typical doctor’s office to help diagnose respiratory diseases.
Doctors do not currently have access to reliable non-invasive means of determining these types of diseases. Instead, they rely on trial and error, which can lead to misdiagnoses, unnecessary expense, and negative health implications, especially in children. Using this new non-invasive urine-based test may lead to improving diagnosis and monitoring, and reduce unnecessary expense and negative health implications for respiratory patients.
The test could show whether patients have asthma or another respiratory disease, and if they’re doing well or about to have an attack. That in turn would lead to better treatment according to Dr. Adamko.
“This exciting innovation in respiratory disease diagnosis led by Dr. Darryl Adamko and his team is an excellent example of how U of S medical researchers are making a real difference for patient health, while training the next generation of physicians in patient-oriented research approaches and developing new marketable health care technologies,” said Karen Chad, vice-president research, University of Saskatchewan.
“This project has the potential to change the way Canada’s doctors diagnose asthma,” said Minister Bains. “This strategic investment is one of the many ways world-class research is positioning Canada to be a global leader in science and innovation.”