A pilot study published in Optometry and Vision Science shows that telerehabilitation sessions may be a feasible option for low vision patients.

The investigators looked at 10 visually impaired subjects who were recently given a magnification device for reading. Of the study participants, only one reported familiarity with video conferencing. The researchers also collected data from the three eye care providers involved. The doctors used video conference sessions to follow-up with patients about the recently distributed magnification devices and provide further training.

The study shows positive results for both doctors and patients. In fact, eight of the 10 patients reported that the sessions helped them improve their use of the magnifying devices. As for the providers, they too reported little to no difficulty using the telehealth system to evaluate their patients’ key data points such as reading speeds, accuracy and working distance. The audio quality’s ratings were “variable.” Only one patient said they were not interested in receiving telerehabilitation services again.

Bittner A, Yoshinaga P, Bowers A, et al. Feasibility of telerehabilitation for low vision: satisfaction ratings by providers and patients. Optom Vis Sci. 2018;95(9):865-72.