OT focuses on… OCT and equipment
As practices move into a new version of normal following the COVID-19 lockdown, manufacturers and suppliers have highlighted devices that can be operated from safe distances
Exploring solutions to safely providing OCT eye examinations, Canon has highlighted the Canon Xephilio OCT-A1, suggesting several solutions to enable the device to be used from a distance. The first option, Canon outlines, would be to utilise longer monitor cables, and a wireless keyboard and mouse to operate the device from up to five metres away.
A second solution would be to control the device from a tablet in the same room, utilising a remote desktop software. “This would offer the operator even more flexibility, with the ability to still communicate with the patient while keeping a safe social distance,” product manager, Chris van Wijk, told OT.
Finally, the device can also be operated from another room or location over the network or internet using a remote desktop application. “Using this remote access solution, monitoring and communicating with the patient can even be done over popular video meeting software like Skype,” Mr van Wijk added.
Unlocking remote access
BiB Ophthalmic Instruments has highlighted a range of solutions from Optopol that can be used from a distance, explaining that Optopol has unlocked parts of its software to allow for the use of remote access software, such as TeamViewer or AnyDesk. Solutions include Optopol’s REVO OCTs, which are PC-based and so can be operated through any remote desktop software to take scans, save and analyse data. The company’s range of PTS Visual Field Analysers can also be used from a distance.
Highlighting other equipment that could also be operated from a distance, BiB pointed to the Anyview dispensing devices, including Cyclops Lite which fits to an iPad and can be controlled remotely via an app. As an app-based solution, BiB’s CEO Tim Baker suggested the product is “being developed constantly.” He also highlighted the Anyview I, which can be desktop or stand-mounted and features WiFi connectivity, meaning the device can be used from a tablet from a distance.
In a recent customer survey, Zeiss found 74% of respondents reported that keeping themselves and their employees safe was a top priority in the return to a new normal. Aiming to support the return to practice, Zeiss flagged a number of its instruments that could be operated from a safe distance, including the Visufit 1000. The product offers 3D centration face scanning and a 180 degree view to help get patients the best lenses and frames for their requirements, and also highlights different lens and frame combinations.
Commenting on the changes to practice post COVID-19, Paul Hopkins, professional services manager at Zeiss, said: “The global pandemic has and will continue to change patient expectations. Optical professionals should see this change positively, taking the opportunity to redefine and optimise their service offering.
“The Zeiss Visufit 1000, like all of the Zeiss Vision Technology Solutions, can be integrated into a full consultation, testing and dispensing workflow using the Visuconsult 500 to create a seamless, contactless, patient experience.”
Heidelberg Engineering has highlighted the benefits of its Spectralis device, allowing the optometrist to minimise the time spent in close proximity with the patient. The platform can perform several imaging functions on one device, reducing the need to move the patient to different devices.
As the device uses confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy to assess the health of the retina, the company said the patient’s eye does not need to be dilated, meaning they can drive to and from the appointment, reducing the need for someone to accompany them or use of public transport.
A spokesperson for the company suggested new updates for the device had been planned for this year but launches were postponed due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of many events, adding: “It’s a case of 'watch this space' for later in the year or early 2021.”