Digital technology in respiratory diseases: Promises, (no) panacea and time for a new paradigm

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

Abstract

In a world where digital technology has revolutionized the way we work, shop and manage our finances it is unsurprising that digital systems are suggested as potential solutions to delivering clinically and cost-effective care for an aging population with one or more long-term conditions. However, recent evidence suggesting that telehealth may not be quite the panacea that was promised, has led to discussions on the mechanisms and role of digital technology in respiratory care. Implementation in rural and remote settings offers significant
benefits in terms of convenient access to care, but is contingent on technical and organizational infrastructure.
Telemonitoring systems rely on algorithms to detect deterioration and trigger alerts; machine learning may enable telemonitoring of the future to develop personalized systems that are sensitive to clinical status whilst reducing false alerts. By providing access to information, offering convenient and flexible modes of communication and enabling the transfer of monitoring data to support professional assessment, telehealth an support self-management. At present, all too often, expensive ‘off the shelf’ systems are purchased and
given to clinicians to use. It is time for the paradigm to shift. As clinicians we should identify the specific challenges we face in delivering care, and expect flexible systems that can be customized to individual patients’ requirements and adapted to our diverse healthcare contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChronic Respiratory Disease
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2016

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