Perceptions and use of technology in older people with ophthalmic conditions

Zaria C Ali, Savana Shakir, Tariq Mehmood Aslam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Technologies such as mobile applications are increasingly being developed for patients to help manage their clinical conditions. However there is a paucity of information confirming the capacity or willingness of older patients with ophthalmic complaints to engage with such computer applications. The aim of this paper is to assess the perception and use of a range of common computing technologies by older ophthalmic patients, in order to guide future ophthalmology-specific development and clinical use. Methods: Patients attending Manchester Royal Eye Hospital were surveyed with questions designed to measure their perceptions, attitudes and experiences of using technology. Inclusion criteria included any patient aged 40 or over who attended the ophthalmology outpatients department. Results: A total of 300 patients completed the questionnaire. The male-to-female ratio was 128:169. The majority of patients owned predominantly mobile forms of technology such as tablets and smart phones. The most common uses of technology were for communicating with friends, watching television and gathering information. Patients aged over 80 had particular difficulty using technology and used it less regularly. Less than 10% overall stated eyesight as a reason for stopping using technology. Conclusions: Technology is used regularly by a large proportion of older ophthalmic patients, with numbers reducing significantly only in those aged 80 years or over. There appears to be potential for further medical use, though developers and clinicians should consider the perceptions and challenges highlighted through this survey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86
Early online date5 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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