RESEARCH ARTICLE


Evaluation of a Tele-assistance Technological Tool in Activities of Daily Life of People with Visual Disabilities



Camilo Barrera Valencia1, Consuelo Vélez Álvarez2, *, Héctor Darío Escobar Góme3, Paola Tatiana Henao Chic4
1 University Official, Telehealth Leader, Universidad de Caldas, Carrera 21 No. 65 A 48 - Manizales, Caldas, Colombia
2 Public Health Department, Universidad de Caldas, Carrera 21 No. 65 A 48 - Manizales, Caldas, Colombia
3 Health Sciences Department, Universidad de Caldas, Carrera 21 No. 65 A 48 - Manizales, Caldas, Colombia
4 Specialist in International Business Management, People Contact Project Director Carrera 21 No. 65 A 48 - Manizales, Caldas, Colombia


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© 2019 Valencia et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Public Health Department, Universidad de Caldas, Carrera 21 No. 65 A 48 - Manizales, Caldas, Colombia; Tel: +57 3155411897; E-mail: Consuelo.velez@ucaldas.edu.co


Abstract

Introduction:

Blind people lose an important degree of independence, which makes it difficult to carry out different activities of daily life.

Objective:

To develop and evaluate a telecare model that consisted of guiding a person with visual disability through a video conference to carry out activities of daily life.

Methods:

The telecare model is based on the guidance through voice commands. Telecare begins when a blind person, through a mobile device, transmits images, video and voice (video conference) in real-time to a person with normal vision in a different place that works as a guide, so that the guide knows the details of the blind person. The environment of the person that can solve immediate information needs, location or selection of objects requires visual support. It was evaluated with 37 people with visual disabilities through the Lawton & Brody scale.

Results:

It is an improved progressive evolution in the level of independence of the Lawton and Brody scale, which presents an advance of just over 2 points in the scale thanks to the tele-assistance application (p = 0.000).

Conclusion:

The participants were at a moderate level of dependence and, after the tele-assistance tests, their level was mild. The highest score was obtained in activities related to money management and purchases. In contrast, participants had less value activities within the home. The results allowed us to verify the effectiveness of telecare to improve the independence and well-being of people with visual disabilities.

Keywords: Health, Blindness, Visually impaired persons, Video conference, Orthosis, Mobile health (MeSH terms).