Telemedicine in COPD: An Overview by Topics

COPD. 2020 Oct;17(5):601-617. doi: 10.1080/15412555.2020.1815182. Epub 2020 Sep 7.


COPD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and carries a huge and growing economic and social burden. Telemedicine might allow the care of patients with limited access to health services and improve their self-management. During the COVID-19 pandemic, patient's safety represents one of the main reasons why we might use these tools to manage our patients. The authors conducted a literature search in MEDLINE database. The retrieval form of the Medical Subject Headings (Mesh) was ((Telemedicine OR Tele-rehabilitation OR Telemonitoring OR mHealth OR Ehealth OR Telehealth) AND COPD). We only included systematic reviews, reviews, meta-analysis, clinical trials and randomized-control trials, in the English language, with the selected search items in title or abstract, and published from January 1st 2015 to 31st May 2020 (n = 56). There was a positive tendency toward benefits in tele-rehabilitation, health-education and self-management, early detection of COPD exacerbations, psychosocial support and smoking cessation, but the heterogeneity of clinical trials and reviews limits the extent to which this value can be understood. Telemonitoring interventions and cost-effectiveness had contradictory results. The literature on teleconsultation was scarce during this period. The non-inferiority tendency of telemedicine programmes comparing to conventional COPD management seems an opportunity to deliver quality healthcare to COPD patients, with a guarantee of patient's safety, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Keywords: COPD; COVID-19; Telemedicine; ehealth; self-management; telemonitoring.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Self-Management
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration*