This issue is dedicated to technological advances and their contribution to the advancement of respiratory medicine. Our understanding of the fundamental aspects of breathing and respiration would not have been possible without simultaneous advances in technology based in the physical, engineering and chemical sciences. From the Lavoisiers to Boyle, the Curies to Röntgen, without the equipment to conduct the necessary experiments, we would have proceeded even more slowly towards our grasp of oxygen, Boyle’s law, the chest radiograph and the fundamental principles of tumour irradiation. As far as respiratory physiology goes, W est  has eloquently stated that surges in our understanding often occur during times of war, when challenges to human physiology spur on technological innovation.... War can also create conditions during which talented individuals set aside their different research interests and collaborate effectively. However, technological advances also occur outwith such an environment and in the last three decades, the digital revolution, the Internet, and a number of key discoveries in the biomechanical and engineering fields have revolutionised our approach to evaluating, diagnosing and managing medical disorders. We hope that you will enjoy reading and learning more about ultrasonography and its application to diagnosing diseases of the pleural space and lungs, technical innovations in noninvasive ventilationand our online exclusive on wearable technology and the Internet of Things.