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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 548-553

Smartphone applications in ophthalmology: A quantitative analysis

Department of Ophthalmology, Cataract and Cornea Services, Aravind Eye Hospital, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lokeshwari Aruljyothi
#1-D, ARRS Majestic Apartments, Suramangalam Main Road, Salem - 636 005, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1480_20

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Purpose: There is limited information in literature about the scope and usability of Smartphone Applications (Apps) in ophthalmology. Eye care professionals are therefore skeptical about the benefits of smartphone Apps and are reluctant to adopt it in their day to day practice. The purpose of this study was to provide an updated overview of all Apps exclusive to ophthalmology. Methods: This study was a quantitative analysis of Smartphone Apps exclusively designed for ophthalmic care. The Apple iPhone and Google play store were searched for eye care themed Apps. Any App related to eye treatment and management such as visual acuity screening, eye education, calculators, eBooks, Low Vision Aids were included in the study. Data on the purpose of the Apps, target end-users, validation, App usage, user ratings, and App developer qualifications were documented. Results: As of March 2020, a total of 131 Apps exclusively dedicated for eye care were identified. 53% (69/131) were available in iPhones, 44% (58/131) in Android smartphones, and 3% in both. 32% (41/131) Apps were designed for visual acuity (VA) screening, 13% (17/131) for eye relaxation exercises, 12% (15/131) for professional education, and the remaining for Apps detecting color blindness, low vision aids, and assistance and patient education. Among the 131 Apps, 6 (4.5%) Apps are claimed by the developers as validated. Conclusion: This study unveils a wide range of smartphone Apps exclusive to ophthalmology and suggests guidelines to choose an appropriate App. The study also highlights the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in the design, development, and validation of such Apps.

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