Management Challenges in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Telehealth and Virtual Reality

J Clin Med. 2021 Mar 18;10(6):1261. doi: 10.3390/jcm10061261.

ABSTRACT

For the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), early diagnosis and unconditionally correct management at the initial stage of the disease are very important when the symptoms are not yet too worrying. In this way, the progress of the disease can be slowed down, as can the occurrence of late, life-threatening symptoms. Pulmonary rehabilitation is an essential component of the management of COPD. The selection of appropriate exercises, which are determined during the classification of patients into a suitable improvement program, is of key importance in the process of rehabilitation. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in major limitations to public health care. Health systems were largely unprepared for an outbreak of this magnitude. Searching for new, attractive technologies that help patients with chronic diseases seems to be justified. This may be driven by telehealth platforms, likewise with the use of virtual reality (VR). Analysis of the available literature indicates promising effectiveness, high patient acceptance, and high motivations to undertake physical activity with the use of such a solution. Thus, the management of patients with COPD during the COVID-19 pandemic should include options for remote delivery of pulmonary rehabilitation, including home-based, telerehabilitation, and computer-based virtual programs.

PMID:33803853 | PMC:PMC8003143 | DOI:10.3390/jcm10061261