Author(s): Kummervold PE, Holthe H
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Abstract We investigated how short messages communicating health information would best be distributed to people with vision difficulties using mobile phones. Twelve visually-impaired persons who were unable to read short message service (SMS) messages directly compared three methods of presenting text messages as speech: (1) ordinary SMS messages were sent to the users and converted into speech by the mobile phone; (2) multimedia messages were sent to the users with prerecorded speech-synthesized information; and (3) mobile phone calls were placed to the users and prerecorded speech-synthesized messages were streamed to them. The latter two approaches used server-generated sound files. Over a three-month trial period, we sent a total of 88 SMS messages to the subjects, 111 multimedia messaging service (MMS) messages and 104 telephone calls. All of the SMS messages, 88\% of the MMS messages and 69\% of the telephone calls were received. In subsequent interviews, we asked the users which presentation method they preferred. SMS scored significantly better than both MMS (P = 0.033) and telephones (P = 0.006). All three methods had serious drawbacks. However, the study suggests that it might be possible to develop suitable technology for communicating with people with vision difficulties by mobile phone.
This article was published in J Telemed Telecare
and referenced in Primary Healthcare: Open Access