Digital technologies and adherence in respiratory diseases: the road ahead

John D Blakey, Bruce G Bender, Alexandra L Dima, John Weinman, Guilherme Safioti, Richard W Costello

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Outcomes for patients with chronic respiratory diseases remain poor despite the development of novel therapies. In part, this reflects the fact that adherence to therapy is low and clinicians lack accurate methods to assess this issue. Digital technologies hold promise to overcome these barriers to care. For example, algorithmic analysis of large amounts of information collected on health status and treatment use, along with other disease relevant information such as environmental data, can be used to help guide personalised interventions that may have a positive health impact, such as establishing habitual and correct inhaler use. Novel approaches to data analysis also offer the possibility of statistical algorithms that are better able to predict exacerbations, thereby creating opportunities for preventive interventions that may adapt therapy as disease activity changes. To realise these possibilities, digital approaches to disease management should be supported by strong evidence, have a solid infrastructure, be designed collaboratively as clinically effective and cost-effective systems, and reflect the needs of patients and healthcare providers. Regulatory standards for digital interventions and strategies to handle the large amounts of data generated are also needed. This review highlights the opportunities provided by digital technologies for managing patients with respiratory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1801147
JournalThe European Respiratory Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


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