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Ami A. Shah, Sirichai Pasadhika, Joan Kim, Mingwu Wang; Pseudoisochromatic Color Vision Testing on an iPhone. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):6399.
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Many physicians are utilizing smartphones to supplement or facilitate patient care. With the tools these devices provide, there is potential use for screening for various disorders. Our study aims to determine whether the Ishihara color plates provided in the Eye Handbook application on the iPhone4 (Apple Inc.) are comparable to those in the standard color vision testing books that are routinely used in ophthalmology offices, in screening for red-green color vision deficiency.
A total of 100 random male subjects were surveyed, with a median age of 36.8 years (age range 19-73 years), from various healthcare clinics and healthcare professionals, at the University of Arizona Health Network. Nine of the subjects had an established diagnosis of red-green deficiency, the remaining had normal color vision. Informed consent and near vision were first obtained. Three different iPhone4s were used in the study. Subjects were tested by both methods, randomized to start on either the iPhone Eye Handbook or the standard book color plates. Results and subject preference were recorded.
Ninety-seven of these subjects had 20/20, 2 had 20/40, and 1 had 20/60 near vision. Identical test plates were recognized between the iPhone and standard book color plates by 97 of the subjects, among those, 8 had red-green color deficiency. The remaining 3 subjects, 1 with red-green color deficiency, had a difference of only 1 plate between the methods and such difference had no impact on the final screening result. The iPhone diagnosed red-green color vision deficiency with the same efficacy as the standard book color plates. Thirty-one subjects preferred the iPhone, 15 preferred the standard book color plates, and 54 had no preference between the two methods. There was no correlation between near vision and preference. The most common reasons for such preference of the iPhone and standard book color plates were better resolution and bigger images, respectively.
Our study found no significant difference between iPhone Eye Handbook and standard Ishihara book color plates in the detection of red-green color deficiency. Hence, smartphones can potentially serve as adjunct clinical tools when standard testing devices are not available, such as in the in-patient and emergency settings.
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