Status In progress
Technology type Device
Decision Selected
Reason for decision Anticipate the topic will be of importance to patients, carers, professionals, commissioners and the health of the public to ensure clinical benefit is realised, inequalities in use addressed, and help them make the best use of NHS resources
Description Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term and progressive respiratory condition that causes breathlessness, a persistent chesty cough, persistent wheezing and frequent chest infections. The term 'COPD' includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. COPD mainly affects middle-aged or older adults who smoke, and many people do not realise they have it. The breathing problems experienced with COPD tend to get worse over time and can limit a person’s ability to undertake daily activities. Treatment can help keep the condition under control and includes stopping smoking, inhalers and tablets, pulmonary rehabilitation, and surgery. Pulmonary rehabilitation focuses on tailored physical exercise and information that helps people to better understand and manage their condition/s and symptoms, including feeling short of breath. A pulmonary rehabilitation course typically lasts 6 to 8 weeks, with 2 sessions of 2 hours each week. It typically includes aerobic exercise and resistance training and lifestyle support. Courses are supported by a pulmonary rehabilitation team which can be made up of trained health care professionals such as respiratory physiologists, physiotherapists, nurses and occupational therapists. Evidence suggests that pulmonary rehabilitation can improve exercise capacity and health related quality of life. COPD affects approximately 2 to 3% of the population but only 12% of people who are eligible are currently being offered pulmonary rehabilitation due to workforce and funding limitations. Digital pulmonary rehabilitation technologies could improve access and uptake of pulmonary rehabilitation programmes. This could lead to reduced exacerbations and hospital admissions, prevent condition deterioration, and reduce the need for face-to-face visits. This early value assessment focusses on the use of digital pulmonary rehabilitation technologies as a treatment option for adults with COPD. NICE’s guideline for the diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease defines pulmonary rehabilitation as a multidisciplinary programme of care for people with chronic respiratory impairment. It should be individually tailored and designed to optimise each person's physical and social performance and autonomy. Key considerations on the value of digital pulmonary rehabilitation technologies are usability, ability to engage with users, implementation and adoption, and long-term effectiveness compared with standard care. NICE will identify and review digital pulmonary rehabilitation technologies to determine whether they can be recommended for conditional use in the NHS to further collect real-world evidence and inform NICE guidance.

Provisional Schedule

Expected publication 21 March 2024

Project Team

Project lead Liz Islam


Key events during the development of the guidance:

Date Update
21 December 2023 - 10 January 2024 Draft guidance
02 August 2023 Scope published
05 June 2023 In progress
03 May 2023 Awaiting development. Status change linked to Topic Selection Decision being set to Selected