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Population screening needed for earlier detection of visual field defects


ODs can help detect visual field defects earlier with population screening, says Mohamed Abou Shousha, MD, FRCS, PhD. He is founder and CEO of Heru, which is launching its wearable field testing platform re:Vive at Vision Expo West 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Mohamed Abou Shousha, MD, FRCS, PhD: There is a huge unmet need for the diagnosis and for the screening of diseases that affect the visual field, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and a lot of diseases that actually affect more than 450 million patients worldwide.

A study that was published more than 10 years ago came out from Johns Hopkins University showed that more than 27% of the population has visual field defects that they don't know about. They were able to capture this using screening of the visual field. However, it is very difficult, as we know, with the status quo and with legacy devices to provide care for patients because the devices are bulky, they require a separate room, technicians, and it is a bottleneck.

Now the technology has changed. So, there is artificial intelligence (AI), there is cloud computing, there are wearable devices and those are game changers. So, optometrists now have the opportunity to serve as the first line by doing screening for visual field defects using this new technology to fill this gap.

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