Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are epidemiologically significant diseases of respiratory passages. Both are characterized by airflow limitation and a variable degree of inflammation. Because of its low proton density the lung is probably the most difficult organ to be studied by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, recent technical and methodical developments of MRI indicate the high potential of using MRI of the lung in the clinical routine for an improved diagnosis and therapy monitoring of COPD and asthma. In this talk I will first briefly present the structure and research topics of Fraunhofer MEVIS, Bremen/Germany. Following, I will introduce MeVisLab - a platform for rapid prototyping of medical applications which are based on image analysis. In the main part of the presentation I will discuss the motivation behind the development of an integrated software platform for the diagnosis and therapy monitoring of COPD and asthma based on MRI and show some preliminary results.