Queen's University trialling new app to fight macular degeneration

  • Queen's University Belfast is recruiting patients for a trial of a new at-home test to diagnose macular degeneration.

    An estimated 2.5% of us will develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) beyond age 50, with incidence rising to 12.2% of those aged 80 years or above. The condition affects the blood vessels of the retina and causes progressive loss of vision, but early detection and regular followup assessment can help people get treatment and significantly improves patient outcomes.

    Queen's University Belfast is now putting together a trial of an innovative new technological solution to the limited time doctors have to see patients for follow-up assessments, proposing a simple at-home test for the condition that can be done using a simple mobile device (initially an iPod Touch). The study is a joint project with Bristol University and aims to investigate whether patients suffering from wet age-related macular degeneration can successfully self-test at home.

    QUB Centre of Public Health's Dr Ruth Hogg is Co-Chief Investigator of the study, and explained the benefits of self-testing for AMD: "We urgently need to rethink how services are offered as the current setup isn’t sustainable. AMD is a huge burden to the NHS through time spent by clinical staff monitoring patients of whom the majority do not require treatment."

    Source: Belfast Live

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