Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — By adding an optical attachment to a Canon consumer digital camera, researchers have developed an easy-to-use device that takes high-quality pictures of the fundus to screen diabetics for diabetic retinopathy, a degeneration of the retina that is one of the leading causes of new cases of blindness.
According to a poster presentation at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology this week, “the proposed device succeeded in being compact while maintaining the user-friendliness of a common point-and-shoot digital camera.” The camera costs less than $1,000, and the researchers from the University of Virginia said the device can be used by untrained medical personnel in a patient’s primary care clinic.
“The extra cost and inconvenience of seeing an eye specialist causes many patients to be non-compliant with recommended yearly dilated screening exams. The proposed diagnostic camera aims to circumvent these problems by providing low cost retinal photographic screening within the primary care physician’s clinic that is easy to use with minimal training.”
The device uses LEDs and Xenon flash via fiber optic cable coupling, along with a combination of beam-splitters and additional optics to produce standard ring illumination at the corneal surface. The pictures provide a standard 60-degree field of view with a front-mounted 22D ophthalmologic lens, which directs the illumination into the eye. Images are captured and stored on the camera’s memory card.
“When coupled with an automated off-site image review service for the primary care provider, we believe this device can have a substantial impact on providing appropriate eye care for diabetics within the US. It may also find use for low-cost fundus photography in developing nations,” the researchers reported.
Abstract Title: Development of a Cost-Effective, User-Friendly Retinal Camera for Use in the Primary Care Clinic
Presentation start/end Time: Sunday, May 02, 2010, 2:45 PM – 4:30 PM
Program No: 1025
Location: Hall A, Broward County Convention Center
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The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include more than 12,500 eye and vision researchers from over 80 countries. ARVO encourages and assists research, training, publication and knowledge-sharing in vision and ophthalmology. For more information, visit www.arvo.org
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