Academic Presentation at Research Conference

Soham had the opportunity to present a platform presentation on a pilot study he did on the OcularCheck app at the Pediatric Academic Societies conference 2020 meeting. Due to the conference’s cancellation in person, the presentation was instead presented at a virtual regional conference instead.

Soham was honored to receive the the award of Top 3 Platform Presenters.

You can watch a video recording of his presentation below. Continue reading below to see the Abstract and Future Steps.


Video recording


Abstract

OcularCheck: A mobile visual acuity examination to detect visual impairments

Background: World Health Organization estimates that 2.2 billion people have visual impairments or blindness, mainly caused by cataracts or refractive errors, of which at least 1 billion are preventable. Identification of visual impairment is important for all age groups, especially in the pediatric population, to prevent the development of amblyopia. Professional screening may be impractical and expensive. However, the increased prevalence of smartphones in developing nations may provide a solution.

Objective: To develop a tool to measure visual acuity (VA) that is accessible to people in underserved locations, affordable, and easy to use without professional training. 

Methods: We developed a mobile VA examination app, OcularCheck, which is freely available on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. The app measures VA similar to a traditional eye chart by asking the user to stand 10 ft away and read Snellen optotypes (fig. 1) that gradually become smaller in size. An examiner operates the OcularCheck device by marking incorrectly read letters (fig. 2). Using this data, the app reports a VA index to the user. 

A pilot study of patients from an optometry clinic in Austin, Texas was conducted in November-December, 2019 to validate the results of the app measurements. The VA logMAR measurements of a cohort of patients were collected using the app and compared with results from the clinically utilized Snellen chart. 

Results: 15 patients, ages 10-18 years, took part in the pilot study. Measurements taken with the app were on average, within 0.014 logMAR (std. dev.=0.034) when compared to the Snellen chart. Furthermore, there was a high degree of correlation between the app’s results and the results of Snellen chart (R2=0.978) for patients of all VAs better than 1 logMAR (the highest measured VA by the app).

Conclusions: This innovative app provides greater precision and accuracy compared to other market apps with its ability to measure VA within 0.014 logMAR (~0.081 Snellen rows). Additionally, the app offers spoken guidance for the examination process in multiple languages, works without Internet access, and is compatible with older device models, giving it high market utility for developing regions. Further research is being conducted to obtain a larger sample size in order to clinically validate the tool to allow for use as a screening tool for visual impairments in school settings and underprivileged areas.

FIGURE 1: A set-up of the OcularCheck visual acuity test.

 
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FIGURE 2: An example screenshot of the optotypes displayed by the app. The examiner can select the number of incorrectly read letters by selecting one of the bottom buttons.

 
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OcularCheck app mentioned in JAMA Ophthalmology!