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Joshua Foreman, Arief Tjitra Salim, Dwight Fonseka, Marcus Ang, Audrey Chia, Tien Yin Wong, Jonathan Guy Crowston, Mohamed Dirani; Using a smart device-based application to capture big data on eye care utilization in children across 8 countries. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):4288.
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To determine rates of annual eye examinations among a multi-country sample of children using the smart device-based application, plano.
Plano, a smart device application that manages myopia and excessive device use was used to capture cross-sectional data on socio-demographics, time since last eye examination and spectacle use among children aged 2–16 years residing in Singapore, India, Malaysia, Australia, Bangladesh, United States, Philippines and Indonesia. The proportion of children who had undergone an eye examination within the past year was calculated overall and for each country, and factors associated with having undergone an eye examination were determined.
As of November 2019, 59,067 children aged 2-16 years (mean [SD] = 8.4 [4.1] years, 63.0% male) were analysed, with sample sizes ranging from n=1,273 in Bangladesh to n=21,371 in India. The age- and sex-adjusted rate of annual eye examinations among residents of all countries was 9.0% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.5-16.4), with the lowest rate found in the Philippines (2.5% [95% CI: 0.0-5.6]) and the highest in Singapore (15.1% [95% CI: 8.8-24.2]). Myopes were more likely to have undergone an eye examination within the past year compared to non-myopes (33.1% [95% CI: 23.2-45.9] vs 6.9% [95% CI: 3.1-13.6], p<0.0001). After multivariate adjustments, factors that decreased the odds of having undergone an eye examination were older age (OR: 0.95 [95% CI: 0.95-0.96]/year), and male gender (OR: 0.83 [95% CI: 0.77-0.89]). Factors that increased the odds of being examined were spectacle wear (OR: 7.12 [95% CI: 6.45-7.94]), and having 1-3 siblings (ORs: 1.33 [95%: 1.22-1.45]; 1.34 [95% CI: 1.15-1.56]; 1.31 [95% CI: 1.03-1.64], for 1, 2 and 3 siblings, respectively).
Plano provides an efficient tool for capturing big data to conduct surveillance of engagement with eye health services among unprecedentedly large and geographically dispersed paediatric populations. The low rates of annual eye examinations seen in all eight countries highlights a deficit in uptake to eye healthcare services at a global scale. A coordinated global effort is required to increase eye examination frequency among children to ensure timely treatment of eye conditions such as myopia.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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