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Bela Parekh, Jai Parekh; The Effect of Digital Media in Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Improving Patient Awareness & Compliance. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(11):PB0158.
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To examine the role of digital media in enhancing patients’ knowledge of their age-related macular degeneration condition and compliance of their follow-up and subsequent interventions.
The research was conducted at EyeCare Consultants of New Jersey’s two locations, in Woodland Park (WP) and Edison (E), New Jersey.A survey was conducted through interviews with two ophthalmologists, one optometrist, and one retinologist who each studied their next 100 patients that presented with any form of macular degeneration (50-WP, 50-E). During their visits, patients were shown videos from CheckedUp (a digital application) pertaining to age-related macular degeneration. CheckedUp is an online health technology that uses videos to create better educated and more confident patients and physicians, empowering them to make informed health decisions together. After patients watched the videos, staff posed the following question: “Did the videos help you to better understand the condition(s) affecting your eyes?” Additionally, doctors surveyed patients across multiple visits to observe whether the videos affected the patients’ understanding of macular degeneration, the need for follow-up/intervention, and the importance of overall prevention including diet, smoking cessation and multi-vitamins.
The poll results indicated that 92% of patients at the Woodland Park location found the videos to be helpful in their personal understanding of their macular degeneration, while 66% of patients at the Edison location answered likewise.
Considering that 79% of patients surveyed found the CheckedUp videos to be helpful in understanding their macular degeneration, it was concluded that digital media can be an effective tool for improving patient education, especially in long-term conditions like macular degeneration. Moreover, the doctors’ observations indicate that patient education is strongly correlated to compliance, suggesting that digital media may play a role in improving overall patient compliance in macular degeneration. It should be noted that many Edison patients are newly-immigrated Asian Americans with English as a second language, while Woodland Park patients are all fluent. As the CheckedUp videos are predominantly only available in English or Spanish, it is likely that a language barrier caused the 26% disparity between locations.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Imaging in the Eye Conference, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 26-27, 2019.
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