Visual impairment is one of the most feared forms of medical disability, which imposes a great social and economic burden on our society. In the UK, the number of visually impaired people is almost 2 million, with total annual costs estimated over £13,000 million. Notably, age-related increase of visual impairment has been well-documented and is set to be on constant rise owing to the growing ageing population nowadays.
Visual impairment has significant impact on quality of life (QoL), as reduced visual acuity seriously affect patients' daily and social activities, with substantial increase of risk of mortality, fracture and falls, depression and other emotional distress. Any changes in the QoL profile, for instance, the increase or drop of the level of physical and social activities before and after an eye surgery, can be used as important indicators for the outcome of the treatment.
A variety of responsive instruments for quantifying functional impairment related to vision have been developed. Also, there are well-recognised generic instruments for the assessment of QoL in general health terms. These instruments contain questionnaires referring to a broad range of physical, social and psychological aspects, offering the basis for establishing the QoL profiles of the individuals under concern. However, QoL assessment through written questionnaires has several significant drawbacks. Many answers often rely on participants' memory over a long period of time; people may read differently into the questions with their own interpretations; often there is no way of validating the truthfulness of many responses. These limitations raise serious questions on the reliability and validity of the measurements.
Remarkably, the rapid advance of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology grants us opportunities to build QoL profiles of individuals with increased reliability and validity by monitoring their lifelogging data captured by a variety of IoT assets with constant connectivity and interaction in a pervasive network. MyLifeHub is such an attempt with focus on the interoperability of the IoT assets, aiming at a common, interoperable and internet-based environment for long-term lifestyle information for individuals.
MyLifeHub will build its academic based on the existing community of MyHealthAvatar, aiming at a further extension into the community of ophthalmic care. MyHealthAvatar is an existing European project involving the members of the MyLifeHub team. It has an established community with links to universities, academic communities, conferences and other projects
EPSRC Reference: EP/L023830/1, EP/L023679/1
Duration: 1st June 2014 - 30 November 2015
Organisations:University of Bedfordshire, University of Lincoln, Moorfields Eye Hospital and AnSmart Ltd.
Funding: over £320K
Principal Investigator: Prof. Feng Dong (University of Bedfordshire), Dr Xujiong Ye (University of Lincoln)
Clinical Collaborator: George Saleh (Moorfields Eye Hospital)
Other Investigators: Dr. Enjie Liu, Prof. Carsten Maple, Dr Tryphon Lambrou