Engineers and ophthalmologists at Duke University in North Carolina, US, have developed a robotic optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanner that scans a patient’s eyes in 50 seconds.
An arrangement of cameras allows the scanner to zero in on the eyes of the patient, whose movement the robot constantly tracks to maintain alignment. The system requires no human contact or chin and forehead rests, minimising infection risk, said researchers, adding that patient comfort with the system is increased by incorporating a pedal operated by the subject. Should they become uneasy, releasing the pedal makes the robot withdraw.
Co-developer, Associate Professor Anthony Kuo said early results suggest the robotic OCT is just as accurate as the human-operated technology and it could expand access for those in rural areas who have limited access to eyecare professionals.