(HealthDay News) — An in-office qualification test can identify patients with intermediate age-related macular degeneration (AMD) who may benefit from a home monitoring device, according to a study published online October 15 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Merina Thomas, MD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the frequency with which patients with intermediate AMD qualify to use a home monitoring device. One hundred thirty-one eligible patients with intermediate AMD in the study eye and visual acuity of 20/63 or better completed an in-clinic qualification test.

Overall, 129 patients had reliable qualification test results; 69.5% (91 patients) attained a score that suggested they would be able to use the home device successfully. Of these patients, 83 initiated home testing, including 80 patients who established a baseline value that could be used as a reference for future monitoring. Qualification for home testing was more likely among younger participants (mean age, 73.1 vs. 81.1). There was no correlation between visual acuity at study enrollment and successful qualification.

“These data suggest that the in-office qualification test is a useful screening tool to identify patients who may benefit from the home device,” the authors write.

Notal Vision Inc. provided the home monitoring devices used in the study and provides research support to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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