What will Happen in the World of COPD 2030?
Russell REK., Bafadhel M.
2030 may seem to be a long way into the future, but it's not. We live in a world of relentless rapid change in modern medicine and our approach to our patients with chronic diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will need to evolve at speed. This review looks at what may occur in society and medicine that will influence the way we manage COPD. The article is the opinion of the authors and is based upon current research at the cutting edge of management with a degree of gazing into a dimly lit crystal ball. COPD is a current epidemic, and this is likely to continue. Legislative efforts to reduce smoking will continue and hopefully accelerate, but this will not be globally accepted or successful. Technological advances will occur that will lead to miniaturization and the rise of near patient testing. This itself will enable a personalised approach to management with the ability to measure rapidly biomarkers which will direct therapy. The blood eosinophil is the most promising of these and is available now. New developments in the identification of disease clusters and phenotypes will also enhance a more personalised approach. Through both these epidemiological studies and also new developments in the understanding of basic mechanisms it is hoped that in the future patients will be given treatments that may fundamentally change the prognosis of COPD. Small molecule and antibody directed therapies may, if given early enough, stop and even possibly reverse the effects of COPD on cells and organs. Of course, the most important step which is achievable now is to ban all tobacco-based products from the world.