At-home app helps patients stay engaged and adherent to vision monitoring remotely

Novartis begins U.S. pilot program for OdySight, a clinically tested mobile application designed to help monitor vision remotely.

May 12, 2021

The eye care treatment space, as with most areas of health care, has always relied on face-to-face interactions. Recent changes to public health protocols, paired with a growing patient population and existing treatment burden, have placed an emphasis on virtual patient care options to complement office visits. In an effort to address this need, Novartis initiated a U.S. pilot program for OdySight, an app that gives doctors a way to monitor their patients’ vision remotely, in between visits, through gaming technology.1 OdySight is especially suited for patients who have chronic ocular diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema, and diabetic retinopathy.

“Our goal is to provide tangible patient support at a time when virtual care is so essential,” said Chris Simms, Vice President and Franchise Head, U.S. Ophthalmics. “The U.S. pilot program for OdySight builds on our existing partnership with Tilak Healthcare in France, and is an important step forward in our commitment to exploring new ways to help supplement the face-to-face care patients receive from their health care providers with innovative digital tools.”

Our goal is to provide tangible patient support at a time when virtual care is so essential.

Chris Simms, Vice President and Franchise Head, U.S. Ophthalmics

OdySight was carefully crafted with the help of ophthalmologists and gaming professionals and uses Amsler Grid and Visual Acuity tests that compare to the gold standard.1 In a study, the app’s digital Amsler Grid showed no significant difference in the detection of certain visual deterioration markers compared to a paper Amsler Grid.1  Visual Acuity tests versus Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) tests also showed good agreement between results with a low level of bias.1 

OdySight focuses on the needs of patients and physicians by providing medical visual acuity tests, through the inclusion of patient-friendly games, which patients can “play” on their phones on a regular basis. The tests assess cognitive and visual abilities, and, if pre-defined changes are detected, both the patient and physician receive an alert to prompt further action.1

What makes OdySight especially unique is this use of gaming, which has been shown to help keep patients engaged and adherent to their vision monitoring schedule.2 As users complete vision tests, more puzzle games become unlocked, which provides an incentive to maintain their testing schedule and keep playing. With simple at-home monitoring, patients are empowered to take active ownership of their eye care.

Close up image of mobile phones displaying visual acuity test and alert to contact physician
Alerts notify physicians and patients when a significant change in visual acuity test results is detected.

OdySight is intended as a complementary tool to be used in between in-person appointments, and has the potential to assist in follow-up planning.1 Physicians have access to a personalized dashboard featuring each user, allowing them to select and manage a course of action virtually, and potentially detect disease progression at an earlier stage.1

“Remote patient care is more important than ever,” said Joshua Mali, MD, board certified ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon, The Eye Associates, Sarasota, Florida, and Founder and CEO, Mali Enterprises. “OdySight is an example of how the eye care field is evolving to meet the needs of patients, while also giving me more peace of mind by enabling early detection of vision changes between appointments. To me, OdySight is unique in its use of gamification that can help motivate patients to remain compliant with their vision monitoring schedules and have fun while doing so.”

The OdySight app is just one example of how we continue to make strides in reimagining medicine at Novartis. We are dedicated to launching innovative digital solutions, including those that address the challenges of remote care, as part of our patient-centric approach.

Doctor looking at ipad

Telemedicine is helping patients in underserved communities access quality healthcare

See how an at-home vision monitoring app helps remote patients stay engaged and adherent to vision monitoring through gaming


  1. Brucker J, Bhatia V, Sahel JA, Girmens JF, Mohand-Saïd S. OdySight: a mobile medical application designed for remote monitoring-a prospective study comparison with standard clinical eye tests. Ophthalmol Ther. 2019;8(3):461-476.
  2. Data on file. OdySight data report. October 2019.