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Pavan K. Verkicharla, Dharani Ramamurthy, Quang Duc Nguyen, Xinquan Zhang, Suan-Hui Pu, Rahul Malhotra, Truls Ostbye, Ecosse L. Lamoureux, Seang-Mei Saw; Development of the FitSight Fitness Tracker to Increase Time Outdoors to Prevent Myopia. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2017;6(3):20. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.6.3.20.
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To develop a fitness tracker (FitSight) to encourage children to increase time spent outdoors. To evaluate the wear pattern for this tracker and outdoor time pattern by estimating light illumination levels among children.
The development of the FitSight fitness tracker involved the designing of two components: (1) the smartwatch with custom-made FitSight watch application (app) to log the instant light illuminance levels the wearer is exposed to, and (2) a companion smartphone app that synchronizes the time outdoors recorded by the smartwatch to smartphone via Bluetooth communication. Smartwatch wear patterns and tracker-recorded daily light illuminance levels data were gathered over 7 days from 23 Singapore children (mean ± standard deviation age: 9.2 ± 1.4 years). Feedback about the tracker was obtained from 14 parents using a three-level rating scale: very poor/poor/good.
Of the 14 parents, 93% rated the complete “FitSight fitness tracker” as good and 64% rated its wearability as good. While 61% of 23 children wore the watch on all study days (i.e., 0 nonwear days), 26% had 1 nonwear day, and 4.5% children each had 3, 4, and 5 nonwear days, respectively. On average, children spent approximately 1 hour in light levels greater than 1000 lux on weekdays and 1.3 hours on weekends (60 ± 46 vs. 79 ± 53 minutes, P = 0.19). Mean number of outdoor “spurts” (light illuminance levels >1000 lux) per day was 8 ± 3 spurts with spurt duration of 34 ± 32 minutes.
The FitSight tracker with its novel features may motivate children to increase time outdoors and play an important role in supplementing community outdoor programs to prevent myopia.
If the developed noninvasive, wearable, smartwatch-based fitness tracker, FitSight, promotes daytime outdoor activity among children, it will be beneficial in addressing the epidemic of myopia.
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