HumanInsight A systematic review of the current availability of mobile applications in eyecare practices
Eur J Ophthalmol. 2022 Oct 5:11206721221131397. doi: 10.1177/11206721221131397. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: There is an increasing shift towards non-communicable eye diseases (NCEDs) because of a demographic transition. Incorporation of telemedicine into everyday clinical practice is becoming increasingly popular. We sought to carry out a systematic review to look at which applications on portable devices are available for use in eyecare practices for patients with NCEDs, specifically refractive error, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma.
METHODS: Pubmed, EMBASE, Medline, PsychInfo databases were systematically searched using keywords and MeSH terms. Eligible articles included peer-reviewed, original full text articles evaluating apps for use on portable devices aimed at patients with NCEDs.
RESULTS: The initial search yielded 100 studies. Nine studies met the inclusion criteria, and an additional eight studies were identified through reference screening. Of the included studies, 29.4%% (n = 5) evaluated applications aimed for use to identify refractive errors, 35.3% (n = 6) aimed at patients with glaucoma, 23.5% (n = 4) for use by patients with AMD, 11.7% (n = 2) for the non-specific monitoring of visual acuity/fields. 76.5% (n = 13) of the studies showed that the application evaluated was an effective and reliable tool compared to clinical standards.
CONCLUSIONS: Portable device applications in patients with NCED have been shown to be effective. The use of these apps for patients is limited to either diagnostic or monitoring use. There is scope for apps which encompass other aspects of patient care that have been used in other specialties that may be applied to ophthalmic patients, including those with an educational aim which have a role in increasing compliance.
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