Telehealth in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: before, during, and after the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

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Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2021 Dec 1. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000000851. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Many healthcare systems rapidly implemented telehealth as a substitute for in-person care during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The purpose of this review is to describe the evidence base supporting the use of telehealth for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, discuss the barriers to implementing telehealth during the pandemic, and share our opinion about the future of telehealth in COPD.

RECENT FINDINGS: The evidence from randomized clinical trials in COPD completed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic indicate that the effectiveness of telehealth interventions compared to in-person usual care on clinical outcomes is inconclusive. Recent experience during the COVID-19 pandemic indicates that telehealth may increase access to healthcare and satisfaction with care when delivered in addition to usual in-person care. While some reimbursement-related barriers to telehealth have been alleviated during the COVID-19 pandemic, several patient, provider, and health-system barriers to implementation remain.

SUMMARY: There is a need to further evaluate the delivery of telehealth services as an adjunct to traditional in-person models of COPD care. Standardization and reporting of core clinical, satisfaction, accessibility, and quality of care outcomes are needed to promote cross-study learning and more rapid translation of research evidence into practice.

PMID:34860202 | DOI:10.1097/MCP.0000000000000851