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A new non-contact imaging system could aid early detection of eye disease

The device uses multi-coloured lasers that instantly image human tissue without touching it

green eye
Pixabay/Sofie Zbořilová

Researchers are hopeful that advancements in imaging technology could lead to the diagnosis of eye disease before structural change and functional loss.

The photoacoustic remote sensing (PARS) system developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo uses multicoloured lasers to instantly image human tissue without contact.

It is hoped that clinical trials using the technology, which is described in Scientific Reports, will begin within two years.

Ophthalmologist and co-founder of the Ocular Health Centre, Dr Richard Weinstein, highlighted that PARS could potentially surpass current gold standards in ophthalmological imaging.

"For the first time, not just in ophthalmology but in the entire medical field, diagnosis and treatment of disease could be made prior to structural change and functional loss," he said.

Writing in the research paper, the scientists highlighted that the non-contact imaging ability of PARS makes it a “favourable companion” to current clinical ophthalmic imaging applications.

“The reported system is a major step toward non-invasive, simultaneous, and accurate measurement of functional details in the ophthalmic tissue and can assist ophthalmologists with the diagnostics and treatment of major eye diseases,” the authors concluded.