"Smart Optometry" phone-based application as a visual acuity testing tool among pediatric population

Saudi Med J. 2022 Aug;43(8):946-953. doi: 10.15537/smj.2022.43.8.20220374.


Objectives: To evaluate the validity of a smartphone-based application for visual acuity (VA) testing in children and to compare parent and clinician-performed VA to standard VA assessment.

Methods: A cohort of 100 children aged <18 years old was recruited. Subjects were randomly assigned to either start with conventional distance VA chart screening or the smartphone VA assessment twice by both the clinician and the caregiver if applicable. Near VA scores were assessed using the near vision E chart. Accuracy and reliability values were analyzed.

Results: One hundred patients with an average age of 9.92 ± 3.0 years old were enrolled. The difference between conventional distance and application logMAR values was -0.023, and the difference between near vision and application logMAR values was -0.004. "Smart Optometry" had a sensitivity of 89.3% in detecting subnormal VA compared with conventional vision testing methods. Sensitivity in detecting subnormal VA was found to be higher in younger age groups up to 91.7% in comparison with the older age groups. The interclass correlation of application-measured VA scores by the caregivers and the clinician were 0.77 (95% CI; 0.67-0.83) using single measures and 0.87 (95%CI; 0.8-0.9) using average measures.

Conclusion: "Smart Optometry" phone application was found to be an acceptable home-based VA testing tool with good inter-rater reliability for young children showing good sensitivity in detecting subnormal VA, but lower sensitivity in detecting amblyopia.

Keywords: amblyopia; screening; smartphone; telemedicine; visual acuity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Myopia*
  • Optometry*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Smartphone
  • Vision Tests / methods
  • Visual Acuity