Moorfields patients use smartphone app to test vision from home during lockdown

Moorfields Eye Hospital and Roche have piloted Home Vision Monitor, a smartphone-based app that empowers patients to remotely test and monitor changes in their vision at home during lockdown.

Designed specifically for people with diseases that affect the macula, including neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetes, Home Vision Monitor® is an interactive smartphone and tablet app that 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 4-12 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.

Over 350 Moorfields patients are currently using the app. Moorfields recently surveyed the users and found that:

  • 93% of patients found the app easy to use
  • 85% used it at least 1 or 2 times a week, with some choosing to use it even more frequently
  • 70% claimed it offered them reassurance to know their vision is being monitored regularly during the pandemic

Moorfields patient, Rachel Hajioff, commented, “Being able to have my vision monitored at home has been a huge help, giving me peace of mind and one less thing to worry about at such a stressful time. I have been using the app for a few months and take great comfort knowing that Moorfields will be kept up to date with any changes in my vision.”

Konstantinos Balaskas, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, added, “Exciting new digital technologies, such as Home Vision Monitor, will further empower our patients to actively contribute to the management of their condition, in partnership with their clinicians to achieve the best possible outcomes. 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.”

Jill Hopkins, Global Head of Ophthalmology, Personalised Health Care, Roche said, “Supporting such a high risk group is essential during these extraordinary times. By testing patients' vision more frequently and at home, the app may eliminate unnecessary hospital visits and escalate urgent cases where needed. We believe that solutions such as these can continue to support patients and healthcare professionals beyond COVID-19 and contribute to the generation of real world evidence to identify progression trends in AMD.”

James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care at NHS England and NHS Improvement, said “Supporting people to better self-manage at home has become increasingly vital during the COVID19 pandemic. This is central to the work of our NHS @home programme, which is looking to embed these kinds of initiatives across the country, enabling better connected and more personalised care, supported by technology where appropriate”

Home Vision Monitor® is just one of the many tele-health services offered at Moorfields, including virtual consultations and an online A&E clinic.

Neovascular-AMD is a condition that affects 17 million people worldwide causing severe, irreversible vision loss.1,2

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact Moorfields Eye Hospital: lucy.benson2@nhs.net 

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