Visual field (VF) examination by standard automated perimetry (SAP) is an important method of clinical assessment. However, the complexity of the test and its use of bulky, expensive equipment make it impractical for some cases. In an effort to solve these issues, researchers from London proposed and evaluated a new approach to paracentral VF assessment that combines an inexpensive eye tracker with a portable tablet computer. They concluded that this method, dubbed the “eyecatcher,” is feasible while also suggesting possible means of improvement.

The team evaluated 24 eyes of 12 glaucoma patients and 12 eyes of six healthy controls. They tested participants monocularly with both the eyecatcher test and traditional SAP. In the case of eyecatcher, each participant's task was to look at a sequence of fixed-luminance dots that were presented relative to the current point of fixation. Start and end fixations were used to determine locations where stimuli were seen/unseen and to build a continuous map of sensitivity loss across a VF of approximately 20°.

The researchers found that the eyecatcher clearly separated glaucoma patients from healthy controls and that the results were consistent with those from traditional SAP. In particular, the team notes that mean eyecatcher scores strongly correlated with mean deviation scores and that there was good concordance between corresponding VF locations (roughly 84%). Participants also found success with the eyecatcher, reporting that the process was more enjoyable, easier to perform and less tiring than SAP.

Jones PR, Smith ND, Bi W, et al. Portable perimetry using eye-tracking on a tablet computer-a feasibility assessment. Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2019;8(1):17.