June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
The evaluation of mobile applications as low vision aids: the patient perspective
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dominique Dockery
    Retina Service, Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  • Magdalena Krzystolik
    Retina Service, Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Dominique Dockery, None; Magdalena Krzystolik, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 935. doi:
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      Dominique Dockery, Magdalena Krzystolik; The evaluation of mobile applications as low vision aids: the patient perspective. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):935.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : To survey a convenience sample of visually impaired patients at one center for the visually impaired in Rhode Island to determine the most-used and highest-rated mobile applications (apps) used as low vision aids.

Methods : All patients known to use low vision apps at INSIGHT Blind Rehabilitation (Warwick, RI) were contacted by phone. Inclusion criteria were: the age of 18 or older, visual acuity (VA) below 20/80, and the use of low vision mobile apps for at least one month. Patient age, gender and low vision severity and onset were recorded. A standardized script was used and the type of cell phone (iPhone, Android, Google, etc.), length of time since implementing apps, the apps used, favorite and second favorite app and patient rating, preferred component of all apps and the highest cost the patient was willing to pay for an app were recorded. A scale of one to five, with five being the highest, was applied to determine the apps’ overall rating by the patient. We identified the most-used and highest-rated apps.

Results : Eleven patients met the study inclusion criteria: their mean age was 54 years; 72.7% were male; 45.5% had VA worse than 20/200; the mean time since low vision onset in both eyes was 23 years. Nine patients (81.8%) stated they used an iPhone for use of low vision mobile apps with a mean length of use of 38 months. A list of 14 mobile apps was identified: the two most commonly used apps were Seeing AI (81.8%) and Be My Eyes (63.6%); their ratings were 4.43/5, 4.75/5, respectively. The favorite app components were help with document reading and person-to-person interaction. The mean maximum cost patients were willing to spend on an app was $49.50.

Conclusions : This survey suggests that Seeing AI and Be My Eyes are particularly useful and free apps that can be utilized for help with activities of daily living for visually impaired patients.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.

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