Vision testing could soon be transformed after researchers develop a “groundbreaking” low-cost device that can take 3D images of the eye.
The device can take images of the retina, fundus, and cornea, and can be added to a slit lamp, commonly used by optometrists to check the health of the eye.
It is hoped that the new development will be able to identify diseases such as glaucoma and eye cancer.
Existing equipment for 3D imaging can cost up to £100,000, often making it too expensive for large-scale deployment.
A modified version of the technology could allow people to take “selfies” of their retinas, meaning the machine could be used in unsupervised settings like pharmacies.
The device was developed by Dr. Mario Giardini, Dr. Ian Coghill and Kirsty Jordan at the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.
dr Giardini said: “Patients can be imaged easily and inexpensively without the need for a specialist to be present. Our device reliably captures 3D images and is comfortable and fast at less than a second.
“The technology has the potential to revolutionize screening and follow-up within the community for conditions like glaucoma that any optometrist around the world could afford. This work makes eye diagnostics more accessible and reduces inequalities.”
dr Iain Livingstone, consultant ophthalmologist at the NHS Forth Valley who works with Dr. Giardini, who has collaborated on previous ophthalmology projects, said: “So much of what we do as ophthalmologists depends on seeing things in 3D.
“It’s a crucial addition to the way we interpret information, using digital technologies to get so much more out of a slit lamp exam, with potential reach well beyond the hospital to optometry in the community, enabling.” bringing nuanced measurement tools closer to home for patients.”
Working with IDCP Scotland, a digital technology manufacturer, the device will now go into production with a grant from Scottish Enterprise.
Jamie Thomson, Managing Director of IDCP Scotland said: “As a graduate of the University of Strathclyde, I am extremely proud to work closely with the team involved in the development of this technology which has the potential to improve the quality of patient care and fittings within IDCP Scotland’s core objective of revolutionizing patient care in ophthalmology.”