This wearable camera will make diabetic eye screening faster and easier

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A Finnish medical technology company has developed a wearable fundus camera that will make screening for diabetic retinopathy faster and easier. Optomed is the world’s leading producer of fundus cameras, and recent research shows that the new wearable camera delivers high quality images and accurate results.

For those wondering, a fundus camera is specifically designed to take color photos of the back of the retina. He uses a specialized low-power microscope with an attached camera to capture images of the retina, retinal vasculature, optic disc, macula, and posterior pole.

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One of the main reasons fundus cameras are used is to monitor diabetic retinopathy – a complication of diabetes caused by high blood sugar which, if left untreated, can lead to blindness. Traditionally, a fundus camera is a big kit that sits on a desk and requires the patient to rest their chin in place and look down at the lens. The portable camera developed by Optomed will improve access to eye shields for everyone, everywhere because it is so portable.

Optomed conducted a clinical trial with 157 diabetic patients, selected to have their retinas taken by an experienced photographer using the new Optomed Aurora. The trial was carried out at the University Hospital of Oulu, Finland, in the Mobile Eye Research Unit, and all images were then transferred to an ophthalmologist for diagnosis.

The results were published in the Acta Ophthalmologica medical journal in December 2021, and concluded that the wearable camera works well in retinal screening for diabetes. The images produced are of good quality and changes in the retina are easily detected.

The number of people with diabetes is growing and the success of the trial means more people will be able to access the care and monitoring they need. If changes to the eyes are spotted early enough, complete loss of vision can often be avoided – and the use of mobile fundus cameras will ensure that more patients are screened in a timely manner.

Fundus photography may not be the most glamorous form of imaging, but without it many diabetic patients would not be able to enjoy the art of photography at all. Cameras have been used to record and document medical practices since the 1840s, and as camera technology advances, more people can benefit from them.

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