Involving Patients in the Care of Their AMD

A typical week in the life of this retina specialist shows that the future of home monitoring is now.

By Nancy M. Holekamp, MD

On a recent Monday in clinic, a 67-year-old patient with severe hypertensive retinopathy pulled out his smartphone and showed me his blood pressure data from the past 4 weeks. He had been using the Nokia BPM+ (Nokia) compact wireless blood pressure monitor at home.

That same day, an 81-year-old patient with exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) presented on an emergency basis with a new submacular hemorrhage and catastrophic loss of vision. Because this woman was on concurrent warfarin sodium (Coumadin; Brystol-Myers Squibb) therapy, I worried that perhaps her anticoaugulation parameters were too high and were contributing to the bleeding. But she uses the CoaguChek XS (Roche) meter to regularly monitor her international normalized ratio at home, so I was able to dismiss that as a cause.

Later that week, a 67-year-old patient with diabetes in whom I had suspected obstructive sleep apnea syndrome returned to say that yes, indeed, he had been found to stop breathing 60 times an hour while being monitored via a home-based sleep study.

Then on Friday, I saw an established patient with AMD who was added to my schedule on an emergent basis because of an alert we received from the patient’s ForeseeHome (Notal Vision) AMD Monitoring Program.

This was a typical week in clinic for me. Typical for 2018, but not typical for 10 or even 5 years ago. Technology has slowly but surely crept into the everyday practice of retina specialists and other doctors. Telemedicine was once considered the future, but it is now the present.


Telemedicine is the remote evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology. The real-life examples I shared above from my clinic illustrate one aspect of telemedicine: transmittal and sharing of data from home to health care professional. Health care is increasingly moving away from doctors’ offices to patients’ homes…….

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Source: Retina Today