After the shock of seeing the Queen playing We Will Rock You with Paddington, I switched over to catch the latest in the Beck Scandi-noir crime series. Hardly more relaxing, the plot involved the kidnap of a diabetic child whose father was able to see her gradually diminishing glucose levels over his iPhone using the Freestyle Libre system.

When we first reported on this technology (Optician 28.09.18), it was newly released and only used by a few patients, usually ones who could afford it and so not having to ask for NHS funding. Since then, many patients use the system and it is commonplace now to see patients checking their iPhone to see what their glucose level is or to respond to an alarm when levels get too high or low. The ability to self-monitor and, where useful, transfer data to a clinician is all the more important in these post-pandemic times, where clinic time is still at a premium and where compliance with ongoing management is so essential.

Such considerations are of particular importance in eye care. This week, I review some simple apps useful in assessing learning disabled children. But other technology solutions are also useful in paediatrics, for example, ones allowing a parent to monitor acuity on a daily basis during amblyopia treatment and transfer the results to clinic. Or ones that may remotely control the filter in specs worn by a child to simulate partial occlusion at specific times.

Another El Dorado for eye care is remote or continuous IOP measurement. Useful tools for this include the patient-operated iCare Home. Better still, and in many ways analogous to the Freestyle Libre, are those contact lenses that measure IOP and report data back to the clinician. Early versions were never going to win ‘comfortable contact lens of the year’ awards, but recent incarnations look more promising, as outlined in a new report out this month’s Nature journal.1

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