Self-examination low-cost full-field OCT (SELFF-OCT) for patients with various macular diseases

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2021 Jun;259(6):1503-1511. doi: 10.1007/s00417-020-05035-6. Epub 2020 Dec 21.


Purpose: The treatment guidelines for many macular diseases rely on frequent monitoring with optical coherence tomography (OCT). However, the burden of frequent disease control leads to low therapy adherence in real life. OCT home monitoring would address this issue but requires an inexpensive and self-operable device. With self-examination low-cost full-field OCT (SELFF-OCT), our group has introduced a novel technology that may fulfill both requirements. In this pilot study, we report the initial experiences with a clinical prototype.

Methods: Fifty-one patients with different macular diseases were recruited in a cross-sectional study. The most common diseases were age-related macular degeneration (AMD; 39/51), diabetic macular edema (DME; 6/51), and retinal vein occlusion (RVO; 3/51). Patients received a short training in device usage and then performed multiple self-scans with the SELFF-OCT device. For comparison, scans with a standard clinical spectral domain (SD-)OCT were taken.

Results: After a brief training, 77% of the patients were able to successfully acquire images that were clinically gradable. No significant influence on success could be found for age (p = 0.08) or BCVA (p = 0.97). Relevant disease biomarkers in the most common retinal diseases could be detected.

Conclusions: SELFF-OCT was used successfully for retinal self-examination and in the future could be used for retinal home monitoring. Future improvements in technology are expected to improve success rates and image quality.

Trial registration: The Trial was registered in the German Trial Register under the number DRKS00013755 on 14.03.2018.

Keywords: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD); Biomarker; Home monitoring; Macula; Optical coherence tomography (OCT); Retina.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetic Retinopathy*
  • Humans
  • Macular Edema* / diagnosis
  • Pilot Projects
  • Retinal Diseases*
  • Self-Examination
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence