At-home monitoring app could provide better look into patient vision

A mobile application assisting patients with macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy in testing their vision is just as accurate in providing results as in-person office visits, according to a study presented at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Currently, patients with the potential for vision loss are encouraged by ophthalmologists to routinely check their vision. However, many patients miss the earliest signs of vision loss, when treatments would be most effective. In this study, researchers evaluated the accuracy and effectiveness of the Checkup mobile app in increasing patient engagement. The app contains a vision assessments tool to be used by patients to evaluate their current vision status. Additionally, the app contains a reminder system for forgotten updates and a cloud data system where results of each test are sent to ophthalmologists for review.

The study enrolled 27 patients with either macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy and provided them the app for two months. Patients conducted tests at home and were also re-checked at the office for comparable results. Overall, researchers noted the app was able to produce comparable results to in-office visits.

"We're excited about the potential of this technology to improve patient care," said lead researcher, Rahul N. Khurana, MD. "More and larger studies are required to make sure it works as well as our small study showed. But we found that it encouraged patients to take a more active role in their care, and they found it easy to use."