Patients can use an optical coherence tomography (OCT) device at home to accurately identify retinal fluid caused by neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), researchers say .

With the COVID-19 pandemic compounding the difficulty many patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration have visiting their physician often enough for adequate monitoring of the progression of their disease, researchers sought to evaluate the performance of the small, portable Notal Home optical coherence tomography (OCT) device, which has a 10° field of view (3 mm x 3 mm) and creates 88 B-scans with 34 µm of spacing.

After the eyes of patients with wet or dry AMD were scanned with a conventional OCT device, patients were provided a 2-minute instructional video and asked to scan their own eyes using the home OCT device. S

Successful scans were completed by 93% of patients; median visual acuity of the other 7% was 20/66, compared with 20/30 for those who completed the imaging. Rates of agreement between the conventional and home OCT devices were 93% for detection of subretinal fluid, 96% for detection of no subretinal fluid, 91% for detection of intraretinal fluid, and 98% for detection of no intraretinal fluid. Among those who completed a survey regarding the home OCT device, 95% agreed or strongly agreed it was “easy to perform” the scan. The study authors not that upon commercial availability of the home OCT device, an artificial intelligence program will analyze the images and send a report to the physician if retinal fluid is detected.

Table. Home OCT Agreement With Conventional Scans

Parameter Agreement
Subretinal fluid 93
No subretinal fluid 96
Intraretinal fluid 91
No intraretinal fluid 98

“The reason that it has such a good potential is that it tends to catch the fluid the day that it starts to accumulate and provide a lot of data to the physician,” says Anat Loewenstein, MD, MHA, from Tel Aviv University in Israel. The home OCT device – paired with AI – would allow physicians to monitor fluid with fewer office visits.  Many patients with nAMD are unable to visit their physician often enough to adequately and efficiently monitor disease progression. And the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst to aggressively address the issue.

In addition, of 37 patients who completed a survey about their experience with the home OCT device, 95% agreed or strongly agreed that the scan was “easy to perform.”

American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2020 Annual Meeting: Session PA059. Presented November 11, 2020.