Smartphone App Aids in Post Retinal Detachment Surgery Care

Ophthalmology surgery, Pasteur 2 Hospital, Nice, France, treatment of a retinal detachment through vitrectomy, The doctor is helped by the intern. (Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Researchers offer a new way to help patients maintain correct head positioning after surgery.

This article is part of Ophthalmology Advisor’s conference coverage from the 2021 meeting of The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), held virtually from May 1 to 7, 2021. The team at Ophthalmology Advisor will be reporting on a variety of the research presented by the eye and vision experts at ARVO. Check back for more from the ARVO 2021 Meeting.


Smartphone mobile applications (apps) are increasingly being designed to improve ophthalmic care. Investigators from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami developed an app to support patients recovering from retinal detachment repair. Their findings were presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2021 annual meeting, held virtually from May 1 to 7.

Correct postoperative positioning after retinal detachment repair improves patients’ recovery. According to researchers, being able to precisely and accurately save the desired postoperative head position can help facilitate recovery. The team’s iPhone-based smartphone app is designed to help patients maintain correct postoperative head positioning. Core motion technology in the phone’s operating system captures motion- and environment-related data from the device’s onboard sensors. Researchers developed an algorithm to process and save raw motion-related data, including 3-dimensional device orientation. This data is then used to guide patients into the correct head position.

The application includes a tutorial with physician- and patient-specific instructions. The physician can set the desired post-operative head position by moving the smartphone in a 3-dimensional space. Gyroscopic positional data (primarily in the Z and X axes) is parsed and translated into instructions for patients to follow. By accurately following the outlined steps, patients can reliably be redirected into the desired position.

Clinical studies to validate the reliability and utility of this application are in progress.

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Diaz D, Kunkler A, Haddock L, Townsend J, Flynn H. A smartphone-based application to support recovery from retinal detachment repair. Poster Session. Presented at: The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2021 Annual Meeting; May 1-7; Virtual. Abstract 3501039.