Smartphone app for patients to monitor their vision remotely

Introduction

Moorfields Eye Hospital in London conducted a pilot to test a smartphone app called Home Vision Monitor, created to empower patients to test and monitor changes in their vision remotely.

The app has been designed specifically for people with diseases that affect the macula, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and ensures patients can continue to have their vision monitored whilst in the comfort of their home.

Normally, patients would attend an in-person appointment approximately every 4 to 12 weeks to test for changes in vision. The app uses a “shape discrimination” test where multiple shapes are displayed on a screen with one shape, the target shape, being different from the others. Patients are asked to test their own vision, at least twice a week, by selecting the different shape, with results sent directly and instantly from the app to their clinician at Moorfields Eye Hospital. If both tests show any deterioration or discrepancies in the patient’s eye health, an alert is automatically triggered to their clinician. This enables the clinician to decide on the correct course of action, helping them intervene at an early stage of disease progression and providing patients with the possibility of a better outcome.

Rachel’s story

“I’m 78 and, like many people my age, have had AMD for a while now. I usually visit the team at Moorfields Eye Hospital once a month for check ups, but during the lockdown I have been shielding at home. The hospital team showed me the app and told me how I could use it at home, without needing to come in so often. I can’t drive at the moment so that has been a real help.

“Being able to use my phone at home to monitor my eyes has been great, giving me peace of mind and one less thing to worry about at such a stressful time. I used the app twice a week for a few months and found it really simple to do. It’s good to know that the data in the app goes to my team at Moorfields and that they can see any changes in my vision before I come in so I don’t have to explain it all. Everyone has been so helpful and my eyes feel much better now.”