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Brian Jonathan Nguyen, Yeji Kim, Scarlett Chen, Donald Van Fossan, Daniel Chao; Assessing quality of life of severely visually impaired individuals after using the Aira system. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):3894.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The purpose of this prospective study was to assess the quality of life of severely visually impaired individuals using the Aira system.
The Aira service is an on-demand assistive wearable technology designed for the severely visually impaired. The user wears glasses with a video camera mounted that, when activated, livestreams to a certified “agent” who assists the user in the specified task. The agent’s module consists of the livestreamed video as well as ancillary applications such as maps that provide further real-time tracking.Individuals who purchased a subscription to the Aira system were consecutively recruited to participate in this study. Participants were administered the 28 item Impact of Vision Impairment-Very Low Vision (IVI-VLV) Questionnaire by phone prior to starting Aira with followup at 3 months. IVI-VLV has been validated for its total score out of 84 possible points, activities of daily living, mobility, and safety (ADLMS) out of 48 possible points, and emotional well-being (EWB) out of 36 possible points subcategories. Lower scores indicate lower quality of life. Descriptive statistical analysis was utilized to examine the data.
29 consecutive participants (mean age 54.6 +/- 13.6, 13 males, 16 females) were recruited with 104 days average time to followup. Mean total minutes used over interval period was 759 +/-563. Assessing with paired t-test, initial total score (mean 53.7 +/- 18.0) significantly improved at followup (mean 61.1 +/- 15.2) (p=0.0008). Initial ADLMS score (mean 30.4 +/- 10.9) significantly improved at followup (mean 35.0 +/- 9.3) (p=0.0008). Initial EWB score (mean 23.3 +/- 7.9) significantly improved at followup (mean 26.1 +/- 7.0) (p=0.0003). There was no correlation between minutes used and improvement in total (r=-0.369, p=0.215), ADLMS (r=-0.329, p=0.273), and EWB (r=-0.356, p=0.232) scores.
Regardless of minutes utilized, usage of Aira system amongst the severely visually impaired significantly improves IVI-VLV total score and ADLMS and EWB sub-scores. This improvement is not correlated with total minutes used.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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