Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Roche have launched Home Vision Monitor, a smartphone-based app allowing patients to test and monitor changes in their vision from the safety of their home.
Designed specifically for people with diseases affecting the macula – including neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetes – the interactive app uses a shape discrimination hyperacuity test to detect vision changes in people with retinal disease. Each eye is usually tested twice and the test takes six to eight minutes to complete. Patients are asked to check their vision at least twice a week with the app, compared with in-person appointments every four to 12 weeks, said Moorfields, with results sent directly from the app to the patient’s clinician. “If both tests show any deterioration or discrepancies in the patient’s eye health, it automatically alerts the clinician, who can then decide whether a patient needs to come into the clinic for assessment.”
The new technology will empower patients to actively contribute to the management of their condition,” said Dr Konstantinos Balaskas, a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital. “Placing such tools in the hands of patients will both improve health outcomes for patients and reduce the capacity pressures of hospital-based eye departments.”
Over 350 Moorfields patients are currently using the app. A recent survey showed that 93% found it easy to use, with 85% using the app at least once or twice a week, some choosing to use it even more frequently, while 70% said it offered them reassurance to know their vision is being monitored regularly during the pandemic.
Home Vision Monitor is one of many telehealth services now being offered at Moorfields, including virtual consultations and an online A&E clinic.