Moorfields Eye Hospital uses software to prevent blindness

Moorfields Eye Hospital uses software to prevent blindness

Screening software will help detect early signs of glaucoma

London's Moorfields Eye Hospital is using software to spot early signs of glaucoma and hopes the system will help prevent blindness.

The screening technology is the result of a nine-year partnership between researchers from the hospital and two universities and is in the final stages of development.

In the UK, about 500,000 people are affected by glaucoma and half of them are not receiving treatment because they are unaware they have the disease.

Under the Moorfields motion detection test (MDT), patients stare at a central white spot surrounded by white lines on a grey screen. Doctors are then able to assess any potentially lost vision when patients click a mouse button each time they see one of the lines move.

“MDT is a prime example of how universities and hospitals can work together to bring technological innovations to patients," said Moorfields consultant ophthalmologist Ted Garway-Heath.

"The software will help identify patients at greatest risk of glaucoma, provide better treatments for glaucoma and also monitoring for patients throughout the course of their disease,” he said.

The system is currently being trialled and will go live in April, and the hospital hopes to make it available via internet.