Technology and its role in respiratory care

Prim Care Respir J. 2009 Sep;18(3):159-64. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2009.00038.


Introduction: Telemonitoring, telemedicine, clinical and medical informatics or telecare, are terms used to describe the use of technology along with local clinical protocols to monitor remotely a patient's medical condition in their own home. In respiratory medicine, where large numbers of people have long term conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the role of such monitoring technology in the management of patients is of great interest.

Aim: This review seeks to explore what evidence exists to support the deployment of technology to improve the care of people with respiratory conditions.

Method: Narrative review.

Result: A wide variety of technologies have been involved in asthma and COPD care, from management systems to self monitoring devices. Many studies report that staff and patients 'liked' the technology. The service, care and financial benefits to both patients and the health care system were less obvious. Many studies suffered from poor methodology and lacked clear endpoints.

Conclusion: There is an enormous potential for telemonitoring to assist in the provision of better care for those with long term lung diseases. However, evidence of benefit is unclear and there remains a need for robust studies and answers to clear research questions for specific patient populations before such technologies can be recommended for widespread implementation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • State Medicine
  • Telemedicine*
  • United Kingdom