Digital ophthalmoscope could put an end to unnecessary referrals and waiting lists

April 5, 2007

A new digital ophthalmoscope could provide optometrists with the ability to email detailed eye maps of patients to specialist eye doctors.

A new digital ophthalmoscope could provide optometrists with the ability to email detailed eye maps of patients to specialist eye doctors.

Researchers at the University of Warwick, Keeler Optics, City University and University College London (UCL), UK have spent three years developing the ophthalmoscope, which uses a combination of specialist lens digital imaging and lighting technology. The result is a device which creates high resolution digital images that can be captured and recorded.

Professor Peter Bryanston-Cross, from the University of Warwick, has also been able to apply software that "stitches" together detailed map images to assemble the captured images from the ophthalmoscope - producing a highly detailed single picture of medical significance. It provides a map of the eye equal to the field of view and resolution of the large fundus cameras typically used in hospitals.

Previously, high street opticians have relied on notes and sketches when referring patients to eye clinics. With this technology, they would be able to create detailed eye images which could then be emailed to specialists, reducing patient referral and diagnosis times.