For glaucoma patient Daisy Tan, remembering to apply her eye drops for treatment at regular intervals can be a hit or miss affair. But an answer has been found in the form of a new app developed by Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) called MyEyeDrops.
"With MyEyeDrops, we can now be assured that we are putting in the right eye drops into the right eye and at the right time. I don't have to worry about missing my eye drops anymore with the convenient app," said Tan, aged 66, a retired civil servant, who has been a glaucoma patient for seven years.
SNEC unveiled what it claims to be the island nation's and the world's first app developed for glaucoma patients called MyEyeDrops.
The free app, available for iPhones and Android devices, helps to remind patients suffering from glaucoma, a blinding eye condition, to apply eye drops at regular intervals.
According to SNEC, regular compliance with the use of eye drops in controlling the eye pressure is critical to prevent deterioration of the disease condition which can lead to permanent loss of vision.
This smartphone app not only allows for pre-set reminders for eye drops but also for clinical appointment for both single and multiple users. This is useful for caregivers should they be caring for more than one patient. The highly interactive and educational app also uses videos to show information relevant to eye care and common eye conditions.
"A medication compliance audit, which was performed on 275 patients during the period of November 2011 to September 2012, showed that about 20 percent of patients were still not using their medications regularly despite glaucoma counselling," said Dr Jocelyn Chua, Consultant Glaucoma Service, SNEC and co-project leader.
"Managing two or more medications is a challenge for most glaucoma patients and their caregivers. We hope that with this new app, both patients and caregivers are aided by technology to help them remember to apply their eye drops on time. At the same time, the content rich app also provides comprehensive, easy-to-search information pertaining to glaucoma and other common eye conditions at their finger tips," said Dr Daniel Su, Consultant, Glaucoma Service, SNEC and co-project leader.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in Singapore, accounting for 34 percent of those who are blind in at least one eye. At SNEC, 40,000 outpatient visits are managed at the glaucoma specialist clinics each year.
The app is loaded with useful functionalities from pre-set reminders coupled with actual photos of the eye drops bottles for easy identification to help users apply multiple eye drops medication on-the-go throughout the day, to useful reminders for medical appointments or when the eye drops will be running out plus calendar of educational eye talks, and even a medical diary for them to input any medical history such as drug allergy.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.