A New Tool to Evaluate Reading Speed and Accuracy

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a medical condition which usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in "dry" and "wet" forms and is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults (>50 years). Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.  There is no cure for age-related macular degeneration, but some treatments may delay its progression or even improve vision.

Macular Degeneration - primarily affects central vision, causing "blind spots" directly ahead

  • Based on the work of Professors Ian Bailey and Jan Lovie who developed a new English language chart to assess near-vision difficulties for use, primarily with individuals with macular degeneration, Health Outcomes Group expanded this work to include  more than 25 languages.  This work necessitated creating corpora from which the most frequent words in each language could be identified.  In order to accommodate the complexity of non-English languages, a comprehensive set of linguistic criteria were established. The goals of this work were to:
        1.    Create chart to evaluate near vision reading acuity
        2.    Create chart to evaluate near vision reading speed
        3.    Establish uniform procedures for creating the charts to yield comparable data in different languages
        4.    Establish administrative procedures that could be used in diverse cultural settings around the world

    The charts were successfully implemented in multinational phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for patients with macular degeneration in more than 20 countries.

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