UMEyecare: Where is recent tech taking us?

UMeyecare has been able to commission a range of equipment recently. We thought you may be interested it what we have been playing with and the uses of the equipment so far.


Earlier in the year we commissioned a Topcon Triton OCT-A. One of the main reasons that we are interested in OCT-A over other advances in OCT technology is that we are running diabetic studies in the clinic. The clinic is hosting the bulk of the clinical trials of a PhD study by Felicia Widyaputri under the supervision of Associate Professors Andrew Symons, Lyndell Lim and Daryl Guest.  The study is looking at the natural progression of diabetic retinopathy in females with pre-existing diabetes who become pregnant. This has never been done before. Previous studies have focussed on gestational diabetes, and they have been inconclusive. Felicia’s outstanding work has meant that she has recruited over 90 patient/subjects. These patients have been seen by OD4 students at UMeyecare under the supervision of our teaching optometrists. As the patients are being seen as part of a clinical trial, all the clinical results have to follow a very strict clinical protocol and the quality of the findings and scans have to be of a high enough standard to be used in the research. We have had very few patients where the data has had to be excluded from the study. We are hopefully training the next generation of practitioners to be able to undertake valid chairside research when they enter practice.

IOL master

We have on extended loan an IOL-master from the RMH to significantly improve patient flow for the RMH Ophthalmology@UMeyecare Clinic patients within The RMH. A side benefit has been that we have been able to use the IOL master to look at axial length measurements for the patients undergoing orthoK and atropine therapy for myopia.

Tim Martin has been looking at patient by patient results for axial length changes and refractive changes using the IOL-master. Below are the graphs of Rx and axial lengths for a 9 year old boy who has been using 0.01% Atropine since May 2017. Axial length elongation is higher than ideal with a stable correction.

How big is a big screen?

We were able to secure a couple of big screen TVs that were being decommissioned elsewhere in the University. Recycling can be fantastic. The combination of the big screen and ImageNet OCT viewing software has been a fantastic teaching tool. The ability to analyse OCT results, not simply by report, has lead to much more sophisticated use of the data output by the students.  ImageNet has meant that we have been able to merge the databases of the two Topcon OCT’s and then analyse the result of a patient from either machine in any of the consulting rooms and the teaching clinicians room.

Video slit lamps

We have commissioned the last of the eight consulting rooms with video slit lamps. These are useful for capturing images to aid patient management. Under the “Do you see what I see” principle (apologies to Hunters and Collectors) we can see what the student sees in real time and vice versa. No longer is it good enough for the student to say “yes I saw that”. We can actually see what they are looking at in both anterior and posterior eye viewing. Also students can see what we are looking at to aid them in locating lesions for them to subsequently look at and evaluate.