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Ava K Bittner, Rakin Khan; Feasibility of using Bluetooth Beacon Sensors to Monitor Usage of Hand-held Low Vision Devices at Home. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):641.
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Very recently, there has been a surge in the use of Bluetooth low energy beacon sensors in medical research to collect real-time continuous, objective data from patients in real-world settings. This information may help ascertain low vision device abandonment in a timely manner to prompt an evaluation with telerehabilitation to attempt to resolve any issues. An initial step to validate the future use of beacon sensors for this purpose involved their deployment to low vision patients at home.
Temperature and humidity data were recorded every minute using a BlueMaestro Tempo DiscTM Bluetooth sensor beacon attached to the handle of an optical magnifier used for reading at home for five days by a low vision patient who kept a diary log of the days/times when he used the magnifier.
A total of eight occasions were self-reported during which the magnifier was used for an average of 10 minutes per task (range 4–25 mins.). During magnifier usage, the beacon sensor measured rapid temperature increases of 5.6°C per minute on average per use (range 2.7-7.3°C), as well as rapid humidity increases by 19.4% per minute on average (range 8.7-34%). During each magnifier usage instance, the maximum temperature and humidity increases were 7.2°C (range 3.6-10.4°C) and 27.1% (range 16.1-41.1%) on average, respectively. In the majority of instances (63%), humidity reached its maximum increase more rapidly than temperature, by 4.6 minutes on average (range 1-9 mins.). The duration of magnifier use was significantly related to the maximum temperature during magnifier use (p=0.02), but not significantly associated with maximum humidity (p=0.45). After magnifier use, the rises in humidity returned back to baseline more quickly than temperature. All temperature and humidity increases during magnifier usage were much greater than the maximum room temperature fluctuations without magnifier use (0.6°C and 2.4% over 1 min.). The participant and others with low vision indicated the beacon was non-intrusive and they were willing to use it longer-term. More data will be collected from additional patients to whom we plan to deploy beacons in the next few months.
A BlueMaestro beacon successfully measured significantly increased temperature and humidity when used with a magnifier at home, which provides support for further evaluation of their utility to indicate hand-held device usage rates.
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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