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Laura B Hall, Syed Amal Hussnain, Christopher Teng; Characterizing Mobile Phone Use Among Glaucoma Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):1560.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
The growing popularity of mobile healthcare applications (“apps”) gives glaucoma practitioners a new platform to understand and enhance medication adherence among patients. We aim to characterize the use of cellular technology among patients receiving care at an academic glaucoma center.
A cross-sectional voluntary survey of established glaucoma patients presenting for routine eye care at a university-based glaucoma practice (Yale Eye Center) was performed over 6 weeks. Providers were blinded to patients’ participation and responses.
Of the 44 survey respondents (43% male, mean age 67 years), 66% self-identified as Caucasian and 18% as African-American. Over 75% attended at least some college, 33% reported an annual income of less than $25,000, and 25% opted not to disclose income. Only 25% knew the type of their glaucoma. The majority (85%) reported that they administered their glaucoma drops independently and 69% reported never needing a reminder. Regarding mobile use, 90% of the patients own a cellular phone and 66% use the phone every day. More than half (58%) classify their mobile phone as a smartphone (i.e. a phone with internet access) but only 38% reported the use of apps of any kind (including non-medical). Lastly, only one participant recorded his IOP digitally at each visit. The other 13% write down their IOP, 32% make a mental note, and nearly half (51%) said that they did not record or remember it in any way.
A majority of patients in the glaucoma clinic at Yale own mobile phones and more than half use the phone for online access, but only one-third use apps. While there are currently a handful of smartphone apps on the market targeted to glaucoma patients, there may be a void in their use and utility. Our results indicate that glaucoma patients have the tools and skills to be able to take a proactive role in their treatment plan by using novel mobile apps.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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