The validity of visual acuity assessment using mobile technology devices in the primary care setting
Background The assessment of visual acuity is indicated in a number of clinical circumstances. It is commonly conducted through the use of a Snellen wall chart. Mobile technology developments and adoption rates by clinicians may potentially provide more convenient methods of assessing visual acuity. Limited data exist on the validity of these devices and applications. Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate the assessment of distance visual acuity using mobile technology devices against the commonly used 3-metre Snellen chart in a primary care setting. Methods A prospective quantitative comparative study was conducted at a regional medical practice. The visual acuity of 60 participants was assessed on a Snellen wall chart and two mobile technology devices (iPhone, iPad). Results Visual acuity intervals were converted to logarithm of minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) scores and subjected to intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) assessment. The results show a high level of general agreement between testing modality (ICC 0.917 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.887-0.940). Discussion The high level of agreement of visual acuity results between the Snellen wall chart and both mobile technology devices suggests that clinicians can use this technology with confidence in the primary care setting.
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