Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Research Weighing the Reliability of Telehealth Visual Field Testing

The management of glaucoma requires ongoing, lifelong follow up. A key component of follow up, visual field (VF) testing, “remains integral for monitoring disease progression.” The advent of telehealth medicine has shown potential as an effective means of testing visual fields remotely. A recent study, conducted by researchers from the Department of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, examined the efficacy of remote, self-administered VF monitoring using a virtual reality VF (VRVF) device. The study included 42 individuals, some without ocular disease as well as those with or suspected to have glaucoma and with defects that were stable. Traditionally, VF testing has been performed in a medical office, requiring input and assistance from technicians. These systems of in-person glaucoma services are “resource intensive,” and characterized by backlogs in appointments, delays in follow up, and slow clinic flow. As a result, access to regular, frequent monitoring is limited and those in need of services may experience treatment delays and risk vision loss. A recent article in the Journal of Glaucoma reports on the University of Miami study. The research showed that “self-administered, remote VF tests on a VRVF device” were reliable, consistent with standard VF testing devices, and accepted by users. Recommendations called for additional studies in the future with a larger test group, along with further evaluation of VRVF reliability and optimization of telemedicine. These steps are considered key for incorporating remote testing in the standard of care. Read more in the Journal of Glaucoma article on the Reliability of Visual Field Testing in a Telehealth Setting Using a Head-Mounted Device: A Pilot Study.