A prospective pilot study.
Five orthodontic residents in a university setting were asked to wear Bluetooth-enabled Hawley retainers for 12 hours per day except for eating and brushing. The subjects used an iPod to record the exact times that the retainer was inserted and removed.
The Bluetooth-enabled device within the Hawley retainer takes a temperature reading every ten minutes. The median difference in retainer wear was reported across a five-day study period, measured in minutes either by the device or self-reported by each subject. As the device only takes a temperature reading every ten minutes, the potential for under-reporting retainer wear was considered using a calculation to adjust for the number of times the retainers were inserted and removed. The median difference between the adjusted and unadjusted wear times were reported. A Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank test was used to test clinical accuracy, defined as an overall median margin of error of 5% or less for the device.
One device malfunctioned and was replaced. Two subjects failed to synchronise their device with their iPod within 24 hours and were reminded to do so by text. The median difference between the self- and device-reported wear times (percent error) was 35 minutes or 5.1 % (range 3.3%-7.5%) using unadjusted data and 13 minutes or 1.9% (range 0.5%-3.4%) using adjusted data.
The Bluetooth-enabled device showed a clinically acceptable level of accuracy compared to self-reported retainer wear, once the data was adjusted to account for the ten-minute time interval between measurements.