Published online: July 25, 2018
Asthma is one of the most common chronic respiratory diseases, affecting approximately 300 million people worldwide. Its prevalence has been increasing over the last few decades. Telemedicine is the use of information and communication technology to improve patients’ health outcomes by increasing access to medical information and treatment. While telemedicine is increasingly used to improve health outcomes in asthma, it is still inconclusive which types of telemedicine work effectively.
In a recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, Chongmelaxme et al. determined the effects of telemedicine on asthma control and patients’ quality of life by gathering information from previous studies and pooling their findings together using a statistical technique called “meta-analysis.” All relevant randomized controlled trials that assessed the effects of telemedicine in adults with asthma were included.
The authors found 22 previous studies involving 10,281 participants related to the study’s objective. Of those, 11 studies investigated the effects of single types of telemedicine, while another 11 studies investigated the effects of combined-telemedicine (≥ 2 types of telemedicine provided together). They found that none of the single types of telemedicine were effective for asthma control, while the use of tele-case management or tele-consultation with other additional types of telemedicine could improve both asthma control and patients’ quality of life compared with usual care. The authors suggested that combined-telemedicine involving tele-case management or tele-consultation should be promoted to improve asthma control and quality of life in adult patients with asthma.
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.
The effects of telemedicine on asthma control and patients’ quality of life in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis by Bunchai Chongmelaxme, Shaun Wen Huey Lee, Teerapon Dhippayom, Surasak Saokaew, Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk, Piyameth Dilokthornsakul