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Global use, utility, and methods of tele-health in COPD: a health care provider survey

Authors Alrajeh AM, Aldabayan YS, Aldhair AM, Pickett E, Quaderi SA, Alqahtani JS, Lipman M, Hurst JR

Received 23 January 2019

Accepted for publication 30 May 2019

Published 1 August 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1713—1719


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Ahmed M Alrajeh,1,2 Yousef S Aldabayan,1,2 Abdulelah M Aldhair,1,3 Elisha Pickett,1 Shumonta A Quaderi,1 Jaber S Alqahtani,1,4 Marc Lipman,1 John R Hurst1

1UCL Respiratory, University College London, London, UK; 2Department of Respiratory Care, King Faisal University, Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia; 3Department of Respiratory Care, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Respiratory Care, Prince Sultan Military College of Health Sciences, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Introduction: Advances in technology offer various solutions that might help optimize the care provided to patients living with chronic non-communicable diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the efficacy of tele-health in COPD is still controversial. Despite this, there appears to be widespread adoption of this technology.
Aim: To explore the international use of tele-heath for COPD, to assess the perceptions of clinicians employing tele-health in COPD, and to summarize the techniques that have been used by health care providers to personalize alarm limits for patients with COPD enrolled on tele-health programs.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey consisting of 15 questions was distributed and advertised to health care professionals worldwide. Questions were designed to cover five different aspects of tele-health in COPD: purpose of use, equipment type, clinician perceptions, variables monitored, and personalization of alarm limits.
Results: A total of 138 participants completed the survey from 29 different countries. As high as 59% of the participants had ever used tele-health for COPD, and 33% still provided tele-health services to patients with COPD. Tele-health was most commonly used for baseline monitoring, with 90% believing it to be effective. The three most commonly monitored variables were oxygen saturation, heart rate, and the use of rescue medication.
Conclusion: Twenty-nine different countries use tele-health for managing COPD and therefore there is widespread international use of tele-health in COPD. The majority of providers thought tele-health was effective despite evidence to the contrary.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD, tele-health, home monitoring, alarm limits, perception

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