Ophthalmology has been adopting new technologies in many fields of study and research. Technological advances in this field of health progress almost daily. And as a result of this, today we can count on, among other things, the visual digitization of ophthalmological examinations.
We want to talk about all of this in this post.
What is an ophthalmoscope
Along with optotypes and the slit lamp, the ophthalmoscope is the basic instrument of the ophthalmologist.
Specifically, the ophthalmoscope is a medical instrument, made up of several lenses and mirrors, which allows us to directly examine the retina. Its elements illuminate the interior of the eye through the pupil and the crystalline lens, managing to see the normal and pathological conditions of the fundus.
What is the ophthalmological examination?
Sight is one of the most important senses. However, specialists agree that it is one of the least cared for and reviewed, since most people only go to the optician and/or ophthalmologist when they have some discomfort or vision problem. In fact, a good part of the population has never had an ophthalmological examination.
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In ophthalmological check-ups, the medical specialist performs a series of tests to check the health of the eyes, such as:
- Visual acuity test
It is the most common to check how our eyesight is based on the smallest letters that we can read at a certain distance.
- Anterior Pole Slit Lamp Biomicroscopic Examination
To explore the most anterior areas of the eye such as the cornea, iris, conjunctiva, anterior chamber, and palpebral structures.
- Examination of the fundus of the eye with dilation of the pupils
It allows diagnosing ocular problems such as retinal detachment, retinal thrombosis or age-related macular degeneration.
To measure the pressure or tension in the eye. It is a key test to detect possible glaucoma.
- Visual field test
Very specific and sporadic, it is performed above all to monitor patients with glaucoma.
What is looked for with an ophthalmoscopy?
With ophthalmoscopy we seek to know the state of vision, detecting identifiable alterations or diseases through tests such as those mentioned below:
- ocular melanomas
- abnormal pigmentations
- new blood vessels
- macular degeneration
- optic nerve problems
- Retinal detachment
Types of ophthalmoscopes
With the technological evolution, and after the gradual improvements made to the ophthalmoscope, two types of ophthalmoscope arose: direct and indirect.
It is the best known. It is a small device, even portable, that the doctor puts right in front of his eye, and approaches the patient’s eye to examine it. The light is reflected at a right angle and is projected through the iris illuminating the retina, being able to magnify the image of the eye up to 15 times. The image is viewed directly, without inverting. With it, small areas of the retina can be examined more easily.
It is a kind of lighted helmet with two visors. In this way, the specialist has his hands free to be able to hold different lenses during the examination. An indirect and inverted image of the eye is achieved. And although it is heavier and difficult to handle, it is possible to see the retina better since by using both eyes we obtain a three-dimensional image, and with a much wider field.
How is the ophthalmoscope used?
Thanks to the emitted light, we are able to visualize the fundus of the eye, which is why this procedure must be done in a dimly lit or dimly lit room.
When performing ophthalmoscopy, the patient has to look at a fixed point on the wall. The health professional will aim the ophthalmoscope at the eye. Thus, he will be able to explore the different parts that make up the interior of the eyeball. Typically, the procedure can take five to ten minutes.
Ophthalmology: from the optical to the digital
Ophthalmology has become another of the sectors that has benefited the most from the advancement of digital technologies . And it is that as mobile technology advances, ophthalmologists can offer better care to patients, for example with telemedicine consultations for a better workflow, more personalized attention and a better experience.
In addition to telehealth, digital innovations and research are transforming ophthalmology. Some of them are:
- The evolution of machine vision
- Retinal implants with chips or stem cells
- intraocular telescope
- Cortical or brain implants
- Gene therapy
- 3D printing
- silicon artificial retinas
- Digitization of ophthalmology
Smartphone and app-based digitized ophthalmic imaging systems have boosted ophthalmology and its accessibility, making it easier for ophthalmologists to improve patients’ vision and preserve their sight, and helping them diagnose keratoconus, improve visual acuity, and treat glaucoma.
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In this way, one of the great technological advances in the field of Ophthalmology is the digitalization of processes. What do we mean specifically ? To be able to go, with these devices, from the optical to the digital in a few clicks, thus expanding their capabilities. For example, through applications such as iExaminer Pro we can capture and send images of the eyes and ears for follow-up, trend analysis and easy consultation with specialists. With digitized ophthalmoscopes, we can instantly capture both photos and videos, store them and consult them whenever we want.
In addition, at Equimed we have two of the devices that are already digitized to take this field to a new level : the PanOptic Plus ophthalmoscope and the 3.5V coaxial ophthalmoscope.
Digitized ophthalmology devices: features and benefits
The act of examining the structure of the eyes and ears is a critical process in the physical examination. For this reason, it is mandatory to innovate and investigate to redesign devices such as otoscopes and ophthalmoscopes and thus be able to improve examinations.
The device that results from this cutting-edge technological innovation is the Welch Allyn PanOptic Plus ophthalmoscope , to which we can add the Welch Allyn iExaminer SmartBracket, equipped with our iExaminer app, and transform optical examination to digital to capture photos and videos. This patented Welch Allyn coaxial viewing system makes ophthalmoscopy easier, providing easier access of light to the eye, a wider field of view, and reduced reflections compared to standard ophthalmoscopes.
This state-of-the-art wide-view ophthalmoscope is equipped with long -life LED lamps and DuraShock technology , is compatible with 3.5V power sources or the Lithium-Ion Plus Power Controller for increased efficiency, and among its features stand out:
- 20x Viewing Area
A 20x larger viewing area compared to that seen through a standard ophthalmoscope.
- Quick Eye Alignment
This alignment technology helps direct the patient’s gaze and achieve better optic disc alignment.
- Long-lasting LED illumination
Reduces the need for lamp replacement.
Experts in medical equipment