iPhone may replace slit lamp photos

In comparing conventional slit lamp photography with iPhone images, it was found the smartphone produces higher-quality pictures and in a more economical way.

"We started using the iPhone to be able to take pictures 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," said Dr George Magrath, MBA, Storm Eye Institute, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Charleston, South Carolina, USA. "[In the past], a lot of ocular pathology [might have] come in over the weekend or overnight, [when] we were unable to use our slit lamp camera because the department was closed, the technician wasn't available, or we were in the emergency room.

A slit lamp camera, in trained hands, can produce clear, high-resolution images of the anterior segment. However, such cameras can cost up to $10000 (approx. €7400) and require the services of a trained slit lamp photographer to produce consistent, high-quality results.

Discovering the technology

What began as a workaround for first-year residents to send relevant patient images to their back-up or to on-call ophthalmologists is expanding.

Emergency room physicians and providers have a need for immediate images for triage and treatment consults or to store for later teaching use.

The original adapter was based loosely on an http://Instructables.com/ presentation, but the adapter has many enhancements to provide the image quality needed for clinical use.