Technology Offers Opportunities to Improve Health of Those with COPD

Survey of internet access and use by COPD patients reported in April 2014 issue of BMC Pulmonary Medicine journal

Technology offers opportunities to improve health care for those with COPD. However, very little is known about how those with COPD use the internet. In this survey of 914 patients who had COPD by Martinez and colleagues, the average age was 71 years, and 59% were women.

Lack of internet access was reported by 34% of the group, and 49% had access, but used the internet less than once a week. These individuals tended to be older, less educated, and had less income than the group who used the internet at least once a week.

Those who used the internet more frequently (at least once a week) were younger, and reported that their health care needs were not sufficiently met by the health care system. These unmet needs included delay in receiving test results, not enough time with their physician, and a feeling that their doctor did not listen to their concerns.

Wife and husband using tablet to search the internet.

Wife and husband using tablet to search the internet.

My Comment
These findings illustrate the challenges as well as the potential value of the internet to provide current and practical medical information about COPD. Websites can be searched so that you can find appropriate information that helps you better manage your COPD.