Pen-Sized, Hand-Held Ocular Fundus Camera

The present invention relates to a low magnification, large field of view,non-mydriatic fundus camera used in screening for eye disease.
Screening for eye disease has become increasingly important as the population ages in the United States and around the world.  The major causes of irreversible blindness include diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.  Standard screening measures such as visual acuity testing and even intraocular pressure measurement are inadequate since these tests identify patients only late in the disease process.  Despite such limitations there is increasing pressure from Health Maintenance Organizations and governments to annually screen diabetics for retinopathy.  Also, macular degeneration can be effectively prevented or slowed with multi-vitamins if detected.
Appropriate management for all these diseases is early diagnosis and treatment.  Early diagnosis can only be made via detailed examination of the ocular fundus.  Unfortunately ophthalmoscopy is technically very demanding, especially with an undilated pupil, the usual condition in screening for eye disease.  Probably fewer than 10% of non-ophthalmologists or non-optometrists can effectively examine using the direct ophthalmoscope.  Even so, the direct ophthalmoscope has very high magnification and small field of view so that identifying disease processes may be problematic even to the trained practitioner.

In order to address the need for early diagnosis of eye disease in the screening setting, there has been increasing emphasis on imaging technologies such as nonmydriatic fundus cameras with or without telemedicine application software.  Photo documentation solves many issues, including accurate observation and verifiable diagnosis.  Such devices tend to be expensive($20,000+), have a large footprint and require considerable technical expertise to operate.  As a result, fundus photography as a screening tool has been implemented only to a very limited extent usually in large multi specialty practices.
The optimal solution to the dilemma of early diagnostic screening for potentially blinding disease is a low magnification, large field of view, non-mydriatic fundus camera that preserves the benefits of accurate observation and verifiable diagnosis but is pen-sized, relatively low-cost and requires little expertise or training.  The present invention includes the specifications for such a device.
URV Reference Number: 6-1542
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
John Fahnervihtelic
Senior Licensing Manager
University of Rochester
Steven Feldon
Geunyoung Yoon