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Nivea Nunes Cavascan, Paula Baptista Eliseo da Silva, Hye Lim Oh, Carla Ribeiro da Silva Santos, Bruna Roman Bois, Ariadne Stavare Leal, Célia Regina Nakanami; Usability evaluation of smartphone apps as reading aid in low vision patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):5163.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Digital technology in low vision rehabilitation offers advantages in terms of cost, portability, accessibility and social acceptance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the usability of free smartphone apps with magnification tools as reading aid in low vision patients.
Adult subjects referred to reading rehabilitation with best-corrected visual acuity from 0.6 to 1.3 logMAR in the better-vision eye and usage habit of touchscreen smartphone ≥12 months were included. Three apps (A1, A2 e A3) for magnification with more suitable interface design for low vision usage were selected in Webstore of Android platform based on higher popularity index and later update. Their usability was assessed using self-reported efficiency scores (from 0 to 10) by patients for accessibility, ease of use for focus adjustment and for text tracking. Binocular near visual acuity (NVA) test (ETDRS chart) and reading performance (MNREAD Portuguese chart) were measured with best correction and apps selected. Paired t-test was used to compare parameters of NVA, and reading acuity and reading speed without and with the apps. Usability scores of apps were compared by repeated-measures ANOVA. Statistical significance was considered as p≤0.05.
Selected apps provided magnification of 3.1 to 3.3X, when used as a handheld magnifier. Seven participants with ages ranging from 23 to 59 years (mean=33.3±12.2) were included. Mean NVA (0.71±0.30 logMAR) was statistically poorer than that measured with A1 (0.07±0.25 logMAR, p<0.05), A2 (0.06±0.16 logMAR, p<0.01) and A3 (-0.03±0.16 logMAR, p<0.01). Significant improvement in reading acuity with A1 (0.06±0.21 logMAR, p<0.01), A2 (0.12±0.25 logMAR, p<0.01) and A3 (0.05±0.20 logMAR, p<0.01) were observed when compared to performance without app (0.92±0.22 logMAR). Usability scores were comparable for accessibility, focus adjustment and text tracking, with all of them 8.0 and higher.
Considerable improvement in both visual and reading acuity was provided by apps with magnification tools. High scores of accessibility and ease of use assigned to apps confirm their usability as reading aid in this group of young adults with low vision. This could be helpful for further apps development, more convenient and suited to visual rehabilitation.
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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