Department of Pulmonology in Katowice SP CSK; ul. Medyków 14, 40-752 Katowice, The Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the fourth recognized cause of death worldwide. Smoking is known as the most important risk factor for COPD with nicotine abstinence being the most effective COPD prophylaxis. Smoking cessation programs are less effective and may be considered as disease secondary prevention actions with smoking cessation slowing down lung function decline.
Severe exacerbations, if not treated, on time are responsible for the highest number of lung related deaths among COPD patients. As the definition of COPD exacerbation may be subjective, diagnosing a COPD exacerbation can be difficult, especially among less educated patients. This problem may be even more important in areas where the doctor/patient ratio is small and where patients need to travel long distances to obtain consultation and medical help. For these reasons COPD telemonitoring programs are being tested in some countries.
This review is an overview of the current scientific evidence regarding patient education and telemonitoring in COPD. The evidence provided, herein, is presented to help identify the effectiveness of education and telemonitoring in COPD in societies with different economies.