Millions of us use our iPhones and iPads to communicate, search for information, keep ourselves organized, and even entertained. Now thanks to a new app, an iPhone can be used to prevent blindness.
With the population aging, the prevalence of age related macular degeneration (ARMD) is on the rise. ARMD is a common condition in adults 50 and over. Approximately 10% of individuals 66 to 74 years of age will have findings of ARMD. This increases to 30% in patients 75 to 85 years of age.
While there is no cure for ARMD, doctors can prevent it from getting worse by injecting a medicine in the eye as soon as the disease acts up. Catching any damage early is important, so weekly, even daily monitoring is ideal. The problem is patients often miss check-ups.
With early detection and treatment so important, Vital Art and Science, a Texas based company, teamed up with a research scientist. What they developed is: MyVisionTrack, the first FDA approved eye disease test that can be used on an iPhone or iPad.
The test on MyVisionTrack is nothing like the standard Snellen Chart, where you look at letters. That test does not detect problems with the retina, whereby this one does.
In what looks like a game, users have to identify and tap the circle that isn’t perfectly round. As the test progresses, it gets harder for the user to identify the distorted shape. Results are stored and sent directly to the doctor.
Right now the app is available by prescription only, but soon they hope to have it available for download via iTunes.