Test Reliability and Compliance to a Twelve-Month Visual Field Telemedicine Study in Glaucoma Patients

J Clin Med. 2022 Jul 25;11(15):4317. doi: 10.3390/jcm11154317.


Background: Our primary aim is to quantify test reliability and compliance of glaucoma patients to a weekly visual field telemedicine (VFTM) schedule. A secondary aim is to determine concordance of the VFTM results to in-clinic outcomes.

Methods: Participants with stable glaucoma in one eye were recruited for a 12 month VFTM trial using the Melbourne Rapid Fields (MRF-home, MRFh) iPad application. Participants attended routine 6 month clinical reviews and were tasked with weekly home monitoring with the MRFh over this period. We determined compliance to weekly VFTM (7 + 1 days) and test reliability (false positives (FPs) and fixation loss (FL) <33%). A secondary aim considered concordance to in-clinic measures of visual field (MRF-clinic (MRFc) and the Humphrey Field Analyzer (HFA)) in active participants (≥10 home examinations and 5 reliable HFA examinations). The linear trend in the MRFh mean deviation (MD) was compared to the HFA guided progression analysis (GPA) using Bland-Altman methods. Data are shown as the mean ± standard deviation.

Results: Forty-seven participants with a mean age of 64 ± 14.6 years were recruited for the trial. The VFTM uptake was 85% and compliance to weekly home monitoring was 75% in the presence of weekly text reminders in the analysed group (n = 20). The analysed group was composed of test subjects with five reliable in-clinic HFA examinations (GPA analysis available) and who submitted a minimum of 10 MRFh examinations from home. Of the 757 home examinations returned, approximately two-thirds were reliable, which was significantly lower than the test reliability of the HFA in-clinic (MRFh: 65% vs. HFA: 85%, p < 0.001). The HFA-GPA analysis gave little bias from the MRFh slope (bias: 0.05 dB/yr, p > 0.05). Two eyes were found to have clinical progression during the 12 month period, and both were detected by VFTM.

Conclusions: VFTM over 12 months returned good compliance (75%) to weekly testing with good concordance to in-clinic assays. VFTM is a viable option for monitoring patients with glaucoma for visual field progression in between clinical visits.

Keywords: glaucoma progression; guided progression analysis; home monitoring; iPad; tablet device; telemedicine; visual fields.