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Gang Luo, Chen-Yuan Lee, Prerana Shivshanker, Wenbo Cheng, Jamie Wang, Sophia Marusic, Aparna Raghuram, Yan Jiang, Rui Liu; Preliminary Evaluation of a Smartphone App for Refractive Error Measurement. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(2):40. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.2.40.
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential feasibility of using a smartphone app in myopia screening.
The app estimates myopic refractive error by measuring the far point distance for reading three 20/20 Tumbling E letters. In total, 113 myopic subjects with astigmatism no greater than −1.75 diopters (D) were enrolled from 5 sites. The mean age was 22 ± 8.5 years. The app measurement was compared with noncycloplegic subjective refraction measurement or autorefractor if subjective refraction was not available. In addition, 22 subjects were tested with the app for repeatability.
For 201 eyes included, the range of spherical equivalent refraction error was 0 to −10.2 D. The app measurement and clinical measurement was highly correlated (Pearson R = 0.91, P < 0.001). There was a small bias (0.17 D) in the app measurement overall, and it was significantly different across the 5 sites due to different age of subjects enrolled at those sites (P = 0.001) – young adults in their 20s were underestimated the most by 0.49 D, whereas children were overestimated by 0.29 D. The mean absolute deviation of the app measurement was 0.65 D. The repeatability of multiple testing in terms of 95% limit of agreement was ±0.61 D.
Overall, the app measurement is consistent with clinical measurement performed by vision care professionals. The repeatability is comparable with that of some autorefractors. Age-associated human factors may influence the app measurement.
The app could be potentially used as a mass screening tool for myopia.
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