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Tonometers are an essential tool in eye care, but the problem with them is that you can get IOP measurement information only during the day when a patient comes to an appointment. St. Erik’s Eye Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden found a solution to the problem with the Icare HOME self-tonometer, that makes it possible for patients to measure their IOP whenever required.
St Erik’s has used Icare HOME since 2015 with great results. Since intraocular pressure can vary between different days and even during the same day, a single measurement won’t always catch the pressure changes. This is what makes Icare HOME so special.
– Icare HOME is a handheld tonometer that is designed for patients to use by themselves. It is based on a rebound measuring principle that measures the IOP straight from the cornea. It doesn’t require any anesthetics and we have had no reports of damage to the cornea, so it’s safe to use as well, Laurence Querat, optometrist from St. Erik’s tells.
“Icare HOME is an important tool for us to get information we couldn’t get otherwise.”
– Sometimes patient’s glaucoma progresses even if the IOP is normal during daytime. That is why it’s important to be able to measure it in the mornings and evenings as well. IOP can rise very high during these hours and we would never be able to catch these peaks with a reference tonometer, she continues.
Querat says the best thing about Icare HOME is that it’s very easy to use. Almost anyone can learn to measure their own IOP with an average of 20 to 30 minutes’ practice.
– You start the device and load it with a probe. There is a guiding light that is aimed to the eye and then you press a button. Then you repeat the procedure for the other eye, and it’s done.
– Many of our patients have problems with their eyes and they don’t always see properly. Some of them are also old so they are not too confident, but they still manage to use the device. Patients can be skeptical because they are used to the anesthetics and a microscope at the hospital, but when they see it and get to try it themselves, they are very pleased and surprised that it works so smoothly, she reveals.
St. Erik’s Eye Hospital has conducted two studies regarding the use of Icare Home. One of them showed that 78 % of the measurements made by glaucoma patients were within three millimeters compared to a reference tonometer’s results.
– It is very good that patients are enabled to perform self-IOP-measurement. Icare HOME is an important tool for us to get information we couldn’t get otherwise. It’s also important that people feel they take active part in their eye care and aren’t just passive patients, Querat says.
– I would definitely recommend Icare HOME. In the beginning, we just wanted to see whether it was a good eye care device, and now we’ve had over 100 patients using it over the last year. It’s an easy-to-use, safe tool that helps us take care of our glaucoma patients, she finishes.