In the patient's hands

Handheld OCT device to address long hospital waiting times could be ready ‘by 2018’


Patients fed up with long waiting times for hospital eye services can take cheer from a prototype binocular optical coherence tomography (OCT) system currently being tested at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Hospital consultant ophthalmologist, Dr Pearse Keane, gave a presentation on the project at the Moorfields annual general meeting (20 July, London).

While still a prototype, the device would one day offer whole-eye OCT, autorefraction, pupillary light response and other eye examination tests in a handheld system.

“We hope to have the device ready and available for CE marking and subsequent commercial availability around 2018,” Dr Keane outlined.

“In the medium term, we’re looking to have this in the hospital eye service, in retinal therapy clinics and injection clinics where people often have to wait for hours for a relatively routine decision. So if we could automate a lot of that process, we can increase the efficiency, reduce the costs and really improve the quality of life of patients attending these clinics,” he highlighted.

“I think it’s much further down the road that something like this would become available in the community, in the High Street opticians, or local eye hospitals. But that’s something we’re certainly aiming towards – maybe, in the long term, even in patients’ homes,” he explained.

The OCT project is also collaborating with Google DeepMind to see if artificial intelligence can assist in diagnosing eye disease.