Scientists develop automated OCT machine

The technology incorporates a robotic arm and active-scanning head that aligns itself with the patient’s pupil

computer chip
Pixabay/Michael Schwarzenberger

Scientists from Duke University in the US have developed a fully automated optical coherence tomography (OCT) device.

The contactless technology, which was described in Nature Biomedical Engineering, uses robotic positioning to align itself with the eye to be imaged as well as active scanning to locate the patient’s pupil.

“Robotic OCT scanners may enable the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with eye conditions in non-specialist clinics,” the authors highlighted.

Patients are able to sit or stand in front of the scanner, without the need for a chin rest as the device automatically corrects for the subtle movement of patients.

The research, which was part-funded by the National Eye Institute, found that the technology was capable of acquiring OCT volumetric datasets that resolve key anatomic structures relevant for the management of common eye conditions.

Researchers plan on extending the retinal field of view of the device and investigating how the automated OCT compared to conventional OCT systems.

“The capability exists to bring the OCT scanner to the patient, rather than the patient to the scanner, without sacrificing motion stabilisation as with handheld scanners,” the authors highlighted.