Results from a recent study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, have shown that the Peek (Portable Eye Examination Kit) Acuity app is just as accurate as ETDRS and Snellen chart for testing visual acuity. This makes the app one of the few mobile health applications to be proven and validated in a clinical trial.
The app was tested on 233 Kenyan adults aged 55 and above. The results were found to be just as accurate and repeatable as the Snellen chart, while being comparable in accuracy to the ETDRS chart.
In developing countries where access to specialist clinics are limited, the Peek Acuity app enables healthcare and community workers to test visual acuity using an accurate and portable system in the patient’s home or in clinic. Lead author of the study and co-founder of the Peek Acuity app, Dr Andrew Bastawrous said, “we aimed to develop and validate a smartphone-based visual acuity test which would work in challenging circumstances, such as rural Africa, but also provide reliable enough results to use in routine clinical practice in well-established healthcare systems.“
The app features a “tumbling E”, where the letter E is displayed in 1 of 4 orientations. The patient points in the direction they perceive the arm of the letter E to be pointing. The use of the “tumbling E” allows eye tests to be performed on those unable to read letters used in the English language, and ensures acuity is resolution based rather than recognition based. The application also provides alternatives to finger counting, hand movements and light perception.
Peek Acuity app is currently compatible with Android and iOS devices.
By: Dr Joanne Teong
Link to study: JAMA Ophthalmology
The D-EYE Retinal Imaging System is an innovative device that converts a smartphone into a portable, easy-to-use, affordable, and effective fundus camera.
The D-EYE device is a smartphone-sized case that fits onto an Apple iOS or Android phone. The D-EYE fundoscope lens is positioned over the smartphone’s camera and LED light source, enabling the phone to capture high definition video and still images of the fundus of the eye. The D-EYE app installed on the smartphone allows the user to store and manage patient information.
The D-EYE Retinal Imaging System offers:
- Field of view up to 20 degrees
- Easy viewing of optic nerve head, even without dilating eye drops, for detecting glaucoma
- Diabetic retinopathy screening and grading
- Hypertensive retinopathy screening and grading
- Age-related macular degeneration screening
- Cataract diagnosis and grading
- Visual acuity testing for adults and children
- Ability to record multiple images or videos
- Optional private and secure cloud-based storage system
- No additional external power or lighting source required
The D-EYE Retinal Imaging System was invented by Dr Andrea Russo to improve accessibility to medical screenings for people in need. The convenience and portability of the device is especially valuable for examining bed-ridden patients, children and infants. According to Dr Russo, “The D-EYE retinal screening system can be used by a variety of health professionals ranging from ophthalmologists, neurologists, general practitioners, emergency physicians and pediatricians, to school nurses and others. The system offers a quick, accurate and inexpensive way to examine the human eye and identify a variety of health conditions.”
The D-EYE Retinal Imaging System is currently compatible with iPhone 5, 5S, and 6, or Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5.
By: Dr Joanne Teong
EyeXam is a vision screening app for iOS and Android devices that has recently been issued a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. According to representatives from EyeXam, this makes it the first and only patented method for accurate self-guided mobile vision screening tests.
“We are excited to receive our patent for EyeXam and believe patent protection is timed perfectly in light of the explosion in mHealth apps. The ‘medicalized smartphone’ is impacting every aspect of health care, and eye care cannot lag behind,” says Dr. Nikki Iravani, founder and CEO of EyeXam.
The tests including visual acuity, colour vision, astigmatism and amsler grid have proved popular with consumers with the app downloaded more than 1 million times from the iTunes App store and Google Play to date. The app also allows patients to find a qualified eye care provider in their local area, exchange messages with the practice, schedule appointments, and search for eye-related information and articles using EyeWiki.
EyeXam asserts that the primary purpose of the app is to enable consumers to learn about their vision, understand the importance of professional eye examinations and connect with eye care providers.
The app is currently free to download on iTunes and Google Play.
By: Dr Joanne Teong
Source and image: www.eyexam.com
Be My Eyes is a new app for iOS devices that allows sighted volunteers to help blind people complete everyday tasks.
The app uses live video chat to enable a blind person to ask a sighted volunteer for help with simple tasks such as reading the expiration date of a milk carton, to more complex tasks such as navigating new surroundings. Through the iphone or ipad’s video camera, the sighted volunteer is able to describe what they see to help the blind person solve the problem or complete the task.
The app is an easy and flexible way to make a difference in the everyday lives of blind people. The app sends push notifications to sighted volunteers when a blind person is requesting assistance. If the volunteer is unavailable, another volunteer will be notified.
The app was developed by a Copenhagen based company and is currently free to download on the App Store.
By: Dr Joanne Teong