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Commentary |

Telemedicine in COPDTelemedicine in COPD: Time to Pause

Roger S. Goldstein, MBChB, FCCP; Sachi O’Hoski, MScPT
Author and Funding Information

From the West Park Healthcare Centre and University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Correspondence to: Roger S. Goldstein, MBChB, FCCP, West Park Healthcare Centre, 82 Buttonwood Ave, Toronto, ON, M6M 2J5, Canada; e-mail: rgoldstein@westpark.org


Funding/Support: Dr Goldstein is supported by the West Park Healthcare Centre Foundation.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2014;145(5):945-949. doi:10.1378/chest.13-1656
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There is increasing interest in the use of telemedicine to assist in the management of chronic diseases. Telemedicine possibilities for patients with COPD include medical consultations, in-home patient monitoring, and remote rehabilitation. Teleconsultations have been used successfully, saving time and travel costs for patients with only a few subsequently requiring face-to-face visits. Despite many reports, the impact of telemonitoring on the detection of exacerbations, reductions in health-care utilization, and cost savings is equivocal. Given the health-care costs and commitment involved in telemonitoring, well-designed longer-term multicenter studies with appropriate follow-up are required prior to its more widespread application. Emerging evidence from preliminary trials of telerehabilitation for the pulmonary patient is encouraging. It may represent a useful tool for increasing access and building capacity, especially in remote areas.


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