MIT researchers have developed a new hand-held device that scans a patient’s entire retina in seconds to detect a host of retinal diseases including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration. The MIT group, in collaboration with the University of Erlangen and Praevium/Thorlabs, has developed a portable instrument that can be taken outside a specialist’s office.
To deal with the motion instability of a hand-held device, the instrument takes multiple 3-D images at high speeds, scanning a particular volume of the eye many times but with different scanning directions.
By using multiple 3-D images of the same part of the retina, it is possible to correct for distortions due to motion of the operator’s hand or the subject’s own eye.
According to study author James Fujimoto of MIT, the next step is to evaluate the technology in a clinical setting.
But the device is still relatively expensive, he added, and before this technology finds its way into doctors’ offices or in the field, manufacturers will have to find a way to support or lower its cost.
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