Evaluation of Tablet-Based Tests of Visual Acuity and Contrast Sensitivity in Older Adults

Varshini Varadaraj, Lama Assi, Prateek Gajwani, Madison Wahl, Jenina David, Bonnielin K. Swenor, Joshua R. Ehrlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Recent innovations in mobile technology for the measurement of vision present a valuable opportunity to measure visual function in non-clinical settings, such as in the home and in field-based surveys. This study evaluated agreement between a tablet-based measurement of distance and near acuity and contrast sensitivity as compared to gold-standard clinical tests. Methods: Participants aged ≥55 years recruited from a tertiary eye clinic underwent testing with three tablet-based and corresponding gold-standard clinical measures (ETDRS distance acuity, Pelli-Robson contrast sensitivity, and MNRead near acuity). Correlation and agreement between tablet-based and clinical tests were assessed. Results: A total of 82 participants with a mean age of 69.1 (SD = 7.6) years, and majority female (67.1%) and white (64.6%), were enrolled in this study. The mean (SD) difference between the tests (gold-standard–tablet) was −0.04 (0.08) logMAR for distance acuity, −0.11 (0.13) log units for contrast sensitivity, and −0.09 (0.12) logMAR for near acuity. 95% limits of agreement for distance acuity (-0.21, 0.12 logMAR), near acuity (-0.34, 0.14 logMAR), and contrast sensitivity (-0.36, 0.14 logCS) were also determined. The correlation between tablet-based and gold-standard tests was strongest for distance acuity (r = 0.78), followed by contrast sensitivity (r = 0.75), and near acuity (r = 0.67). The agreement between the standard and tablet-based methods did not appear to be dependent on the level of vision. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the agreement of tablet-based and gold-standard tests of visual function in older adults. These findings have important implications for future population vision health surveillance and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Tablet-based vision tests
  • contrast sensitivity
  • distance visual acuity
  • iPad-based vision tests
  • near acuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Ophthalmology


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