Last week we wrote how Snellen chart apps for measuring visual acuity don’t perform well when compared to the standard method of using a traditional paper Snellen chart with a patient.
Unfortunately, the paper we reviewed that was published in Eye did not use larger iPhone screen sizes to do the testing of the apps, but utilized the dated iPhone 4. One can assume the test results would have been the same or even worse on the larger iPhone screen sizes.
So does this mean you can’t use a Snellen chart app on your iPhone or Android device with a patient?
No — you just have to use the app in the appropriate manner.
The best way to utilize the Eye chart apps are to establish acute visual acuity loss in one eye versus the other. Often patients will come in with pain in their eye or trauma to their eye. You can still utilize the apps to get an idea if there is dramatic vision loss in one eye versus the other. But as the study that was published in Eye revealed, shouldn’t utilize the apps for specific visual acuity measurements.
If you need a great free medical app to help with ophthalmological chief complaints, Eye Emergency Manual is the one we would recommend.