The UK’s first ‘Spectralis OCT2,’ with optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography, has been installed at Queen’s University in Belfast.
The Heidelberg Engineering device will be used in the Northern Ireland Cohort for Longitudinal study of Ageing (NICOLA), which is following the lives of 8,500 people over 50, as they grow older.
“The TruTrack active eye-tracking feature in Spectralis will create a detailed retinal map of each patient,” explained Heidelberg Engineering’s director of clinical services, Christopher Mody.
“It will allow the automatic placement of follow-up scans in precisely the same anatomical location, so the clinician can observe the smallest changes in the patient’s eyes as they age,” he added.
Lecturer at the Centre for Experimental Medicine at the university, Dr Ruth Hogg (pictured), said: “We are excited to include the Spectralis OCT angiography module in the NICOLA add-on studies to look at the microvasculature within the retina and choroid, non-invasively.
“These consist of a second visit by NICOLA participants on the basis of features we see in their main study visit, and will include a study of normal ageing, diabetes, aged-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.”
It is hoped that the data gathered in the study will provide a basis for future government policy to help Northern Ireland meet the demands of an ageing population.