City University London research hopes to put the public’s love of pop-ups to good use, catching those at risk of developing glaucoma.
Throughout August, a temporary screening clinic will visit eight cities around the country for two days each.
Optometrist and university PhD student, Laura Edwards, said that on the first day eye pressure and blood pressure would both be screened, but on the second day, eye pressure alone will be offered to the public.
Ms Edwards explained that: “People are more familiar with blood pressure, and know that it’s important to keep an eye on. Eye pressure is a less familiar concept, and many people are not aware of the importance of eye pressure checks. Our guess is that we’ll get fewer people through the door on the days we only offer an eye pressure check.”
Of the chosen locations, four were in high socioeconomic areas and four in more deprived regions, she told OT, adding: “It will be interesting to compare engagement between these places.”
The success of the pop-up concept is also being put to the test. Ms Edwards emphasised that, while retail pop-ups are quite common, “the use of pop-ups in shopping centres for healthcare purposes hasn’t been explored in great detail.”
Ms Edwards hopes to have the results of the research, which is funded by the International Glaucoma Association, the College of Optometrists and Allergan, by the end of the year.
She said the study – supervised by City University London researcher, Professor David Crabb – may help the eye health profession to create a more effective glaucoma screening programme that catches people most vulnerable to the disease at an earlier stage.
“Previous research has shown that blanket screening of everyone for glaucoma is ineffective, both clinically and financially. We really need to find out what we’re doing wrong,” Ms Edwards concluded.
View the OT video on Professor David's 'Crabb Lab' at City University London
Image credit: City University London