Visual field testing is integral to diagnosing and following patients with any number of ocular and systemic conditions, most notably glaucoma. However, traditional perimetry devices are big and can’t wander far from the pre-testing room. For clinicians looking for a more portable option, a new smartphone-based perimetry tool is showing promise, according to a small study.

Researchers at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute recently designed the visual field screening device using frequency-doubling technology (FDT) and a head-mounted display and then tested it on 19 eyes of 10 patients. The patients had new-onset or chronic primary open-angle glaucoma, and they were assessed using both the new device and traditional in-office visual fields. The team found no statistical difference between the two testing approaches, and they had good agreement and correlation, the team noted.

The researchers concluded that the new portable visual field screening device is a cost-effective alternative with comparable results—ideally suited for improving access to glaucoma screening for patients who cannot make it to the office.

Alawa KA, Nolan RP, Han E, et al. Low-cost, smartphone-based frequency doubling technology visual field testing using a head-mounted display. Br J Ophthalmol. September 17, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].