At-home telemonitoring can help with early detection of choroidal neovascularization in at-risk patients, resulting in less visual acuity loss, according to a study presented at the Focus on Eye Health National Summit hosted by Prevent Blindness.
“Monitoring ... is an essential message we have to get to our patients,” Emily Y. Chew, MD, said at the meeting. “We are into a really important era where we really need to educate patients and make them understand they, too, are empowered to help themselves.”
Chew presented results of the AREDS2-HOME study, which compared patients who used the ForeseeHome monitoring program (Notal Vision) and those who received a standard level of care.
The program is designed to be used daily to detect wet age-related macular degeneration sooner than regular eye exams. Results from the test are sent via a telephone line and can detect early fluid, according to Chew. If an alert is received from the test, patients were to call the doctor and be seen within 3 days. For this study, patients who used the device twice a week were considered to be compliant.
In the standard-care arm, patients used an Amsler grid, and if they detected a change, they called the doctor to be seen.
There were 757 participants in the standard-care arm, with 31 CNV events detected, and 763 patients in the at-home monitoring group, with 51 CNV events detected. In the standard-care arm, there was a decrease in visual acuity of nine letters from baseline, while those in the at-home monitoring group had a decrease of four letters.
“Patients end up with better visual acuity if they had the home monitoring,” Chew said. “It was statistically significant at .021.”
This type of monitoring could help between 100,000 and 315,000 U.S. patients who are at risk for developing CNV avoid functional vision loss, according to Chew, although further investigation is necessary, including the cost implications. – by Rebecca L. Forand
Disclosure: The study was sponsored by Notal Vision in collaboration with the National Eye Institute.