A multi-level approach in care across Europe to increase access to high quality care for everyone, by utilising digital tools, specialised knowledge, real-world evidence and more. We advocate for more coordination of care across member states.

The right to quality care should be the basis for respiratory care related policy, addressing health inequalities across Europe and enabling productive and rewarding working and school lives. Although within 10 years no cures are expected and many promising developments may not resolve into solutions, it is also a long enough time to expect step changes in the way that we approach lung health.

Care is a right that is acted upon

Timely and accurate diagnosis for lung diseases is guaranteed: By 2030 diagnosis of lung disease should no longer occur late for those in need. Validated self-checks can step up the process of diagnosis. Testing and wider application of screening, such as low-dose CT screening for lung cancer, will open understanding of the range of diseases and co-morbidities, leading to silo’s being removed from healthcare.

16% of asthma and COPD patients initially received a wrong diagnosis, taking on average between 4.5 and 5.2 years to receive a correct diagnosis

Lung patients get the right treatment at the right time: A transition to more exact approaches with personalised treatment and therapy should be in place by 2030, leaving behind the idea of one-treatment-fits-all. The right treatment for the right patient should be delivered by analysing individual patient data to create tailored treatment plans across Europe, with everyone getting the re-imbursement they need to access that treatment. Multi-disciplinary care should be available whenever it is needed for lung disease patients. The gap between European countries in the provision of care should be addressed and the principle of equity should drive policy decisions. Quality of life should lie at the heart of all treatment outcomes, with a co-morbidities approach adopted for treatment and care that accounts for non-pharmacological approaches and is verified against guidelines.

Equal access to care monitored by Key Performance Indicators: Inequal access to testing, treatment and care severely affects individual’s lung health. An improvement in inequities should be forged, monitored by developing agreed European level Key Performance Indicators which are analysed for regulars during the coming 10 years.

Every patient has a self-management plan: E-medicine should have addressed the fact that two-thirds of patients (asthma and COPD) report not having a self-management plan and one third declare that they have not heard about self-management plans . Patient pathways and self-management plans should also be formalised across Europe and promoted by health care professionals. Health literacy should be advanced to support this approach.

More than 90% of influenza-related deaths occur in patients in the older age group.

Digitalising respiratory health, care, and patient communities: Digital health will drive change in providing access to quality health, with patients at the heart of the technological developments. The WHO Europe initiative on empowerment through digitalisation should be acted upon. Lung patients should be able to access virtual monitoring of disease progression providing flexible, responsive, and timely care. Care should have moved forward through technology providing patients the information they need on a daily basis. Remote consultations should also reduce costs, with the digital divide in lung disease addressed. The opportunities and risks must be well managed during the deeper integration of technologies in research, care and daily lives while supporting the patient-doctor core relationship.

Active lives are enabled: The economic potential of better treatment for respiratory disease is huge. The impact of disease on people’s lives should be proven by better respiratory health economics data showing the economic value of good working and schooling lives. This should help drive investment in prevention measures, with meaningful Return on Investment (ROI) figures enabling policy change. The legal protection of lung patients should also be addressed, where disability is often the only legal avenue to protect rights. Factors that affect working and school lives should be tracked in order to influence policy changes. The more direct the relationship between policy and economic impact the more likely it is to have impact.

Medication is improved for children with lung disease: Our understanding of how to medicate children should be advanced, protecting the next generation. Lung health in children is vital and a key predictor of ill health in adults. Furthermore, 12% of infant deaths in Europe are due to respiratory illness, according to WHO Europe. More research effort should deliver new medication and tailored treatment approaches, with secondary treatments, like rehabilitation, made commonplace. Legislation on medicines for children should be revised to improve the treatments available.

Well managed adolescent and young adult care: The transition from childhood asthma care to adult care can be difficult to manage. Patients can fall between the gap, a point exacerbated when this group often under report their disease symptoms. A clear framework should be in place which states how the transition should happen, supported by a centre of excellence covering the transition from child to adult services.

Address care for long term effects of infectious disease: As with COVID-19, the long-term impact of reduced lung-function resulting from infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and influenza, should be addressed as a priority. This is urgent given that the anticipated volume of people with lung health issues as a result of COVID-19 will add to the already large scale impact on long term care of other infectious diseases.

The total annual cost of respiratory disease in the EU is 380 billion Euros.