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Monitoring eye health remotely now possible with new app

A Bristol-based company has launched a smartphone app that enables eyecare professionals to monitor patient’s eye health remotely.

Okko Health, founded by optometrist Dr Stephanie Campbell, has developed the software to provide personalised and remote care in between physical appointments.

According to Optician Online, the app uses sensors in smartphones – currently only iPhones but soon to be released on Android – to measure key visual indicators. It is paired with a web-based portal that can be accessed by eyecare professionals to identify patients in need of face-to-face appointments.

Okko Health’s app is devised like a video game where patients tap on visual cues and anomalies in patterns, from which the software derives visual acuity and sensitivity to contrast.

Measurements are analysed over time to provide insights into the stability of a variety of eye conditions and provide an early warning system for patients who need urgent medical interventions.

It has taken four years to develop and protect the technology used in the app, which has met CE-marked standards and is certified by British Standards for the development and manufacture of software to monitor vision.

Campbell said it wasn’t part of the plan to launch the app during COVID-19.

“We never imagined we would be launching this product in the middle of a pandemic but we’re optimistic about the positive impact that this software will have on the most vulnerable groups of patients,” she said.

“With our app patients can now track key indicators of their eye health from the safety of their own homes. I have no doubt this technology will be a sight-saver for many.”

The smartphone software for home-monitoring of eye health could potentially lead to earlier diagnosis of vision problems and allow doctors to act early and save sight.

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