Telemedicine: paper-based eye tests prove effective

As remote consultations surge, home eye test kits prove effective

Eye clinics have seen a huge rise in telemedicine since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with 100,000 remote consultations at Moorfields alone. NIHR Moorfields BRC researchers at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, working with colleagues at Essex and Cambridge Universities, wanted to find out if a simple, paper-based eye test could be used by eye patients at home.

In a recently published paper, they showed that the 'Home Acuity Test' worked well when compared to in-clinic tests in a sample of 100 patients. The advantage of the paper-based tests is that they can be sent out by post or printed at home, with clinicians telephoning patients to talk them through how to use the tests. This makes it a particularly useful method for monitoring ophthalmology patients who are not able to use digital technologies such as smartphone apps.

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Traditional telephone shown next to a modern smart phone. Credit: Photo by Martin Widenka on Unsplash