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Subspecialties Pediatric, Imaging & Diagnostics, Health Economics and Policy, Business and Innovation

Doing What Comes Naturally

Standard visual field (VF) tests are based on technology that is now almost half a century old. The goal is to quantify how sensitive each part of the eye is to light, and to detect any blind spots that may indicate eye disease. First, the patient’s head is positioned on a chinrest inside a device called a “Standard Automated Perimeter” – a basin-like structure sometimes referred to with feeling as “the large toilet bowl.” Then, they are instructed to strictly fixate on a central cross, while remembering to press a button whenever they see a dot of light appear anywhere in the bowl.  This procedure typically takes around 10 minutes (5 minutes per eye) – and throughout this time they must try to remain perfectly motionless from the neck up, because any head or eye movements can result in the lights appearing at the wrong location on the back of the eye: rendering the results meaningless.

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About the Authors

Dan Lindfield

Dan Lindfield is a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Optegra, and glaucoma lead at Royal Surrey County Hospital, England, UK.


Pete Jones

Pete Jones is a post-doctoral research associate in the UCL Child Vision Lab, based both in the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK.


David Crabb

David Crabb is Professor of Statistics and Vision Research and Director of the Centre for Applied Vision Research at City University London. He leads a multi-disciplinary research group (@crabblab) made up of vision scientists, optometrists, psychologists, mathematicians and computer scientists.

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