Patterns and Characteristics of a Clinical Implementation of a Self-Monitoring Program for Retina Diseases during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Ophthalmology. Retina. 2021;(12):1245-1253
PURPOSE We describe the large-scale self-initiated recruitment of patients to a self-monitoring initiative for macular pathologic features during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. DESIGN Observational study with retrospective analysis. PARTICIPANTS A total of 2272 patients from the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) whose visits were rescheduled over lockdown (April 13-June 1, 2020) were offered participation in a self-monitoring initiative administered by SNEC with the Alleye application (Switzerland) as the testing instrument. METHODS This was an observational study with retrospective analysis. Demographics and characteristics were compared between those who signed up and those who did not. Similar comparisons were made between patients who complied with the initiative versus those who did not. Outcomes were tracked for 6 months starting from the commencement of lockdown. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Participation and compliance rates and characteristics of patients who were more likely to participate and comply with the initiative. RESULTS Seven hundred thirty-two patients (32%) participated in this self-monitoring initiative. Those who participated were younger (62 years of age vs. 68 years of age; P < 0.001), men, and living with family. Patients not receiving treatment and those with poorer vision in the worse-seeing eye were more likely to participate. When grouped according to diagnosis, the proportion who participated was highest for diabetic macular edema (52%), nonneovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD; 42%), diabetic retinopathy (35%), retinal vein occlusions (18%), and neovascular AMD (15%; P < 0.001). Testing compliance rate was 43% (315/732). Patients who complied with the initiative were older, were receiving treatment, and had poorer vision in the worse-seeing eye. Trigger events occurred in 33 patients, with 5 patients having clinically verified disease progression (1.6%). CONCLUSIONS We provide clinical data on characteristics of patients with stable retinal diseases who were offered, participated in, and complied with a self-monitoring program. The lower participation rate compared with standardized clinical studies reflects the difficulties in implementation for such initiatives in clinical settings. Despite this, self-monitoring continues to show promise in relieving clinic resources, suggesting the feasibility of scaling such programs beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Smart Mobile Application to Monitor Visual Function in Diabetic Retinopathy and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The CLEAR Study.
American journal of ophthalmology. 2021;:222-230
PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to determine if a mobile application, the Checkup Vision Assessment System, could reliably monitor visual acuity (VA) and metamorphopsia remotely versus standard VA reference tests in the clinic. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, an even greater need for remote monitoring exists. Mobile tools enhance the ability to monitor patients virtually by enabling remote monitoring of VA and Amsler grid findings. DESIGN Prospective, multicenter reliability analysis. METHODS Participants: Patients (N = 108) with near corrected VA better than 20/200 and a diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or healthy patients without retinal disease (best-corrected visual acuity [BCVA] of 20/32 or better). INTERVENTION participants were tested using the Checkup, reference VA, and Amsler tests, with the order of testing (Checkup or reference) randomized. Patients monitored their vision using Checkup at least twice a week at home between office visits. Main outcome measurements were near corrected VA and Amsler grid test results. RESULTS Agreement was strong between Checkup and reference tests for VA (r = 0.86) and Amsler grid (sensitivity: 93%; specificity: 92%). Home versus clinic testing showed excellent agreement (r = 0.96). Patients reported successful home use. There were no serious adverse events or discontinuations. Patients rated the usability of Checkup to be excellent. CONCLUSIONS There was good agreement between Checkup and in-clinic test results for VA and Amsler grid. The low variance of Checkup testing, agreement between in-clinic and home results, and excellent usability support Checkup as a reliable method for monitoring retinal pathology in clinic and home settings.