Boosting early detection with Diopsys

A fast, non-invasive test that can be carried out in practice offers potential for the diagnosis of glaucoma and retinopathies

08 Jun 2017 by Selina Powell

Visual electrophysiology company, Diopsys, has launched its electroretinography (ERG) and visual evoked potential (VEP) testing equipment in the UK. 

The New Jersey-based company offers in-office equipment that can help optometrists to diagnose and manage eye conditions, including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. 

Diopsys Chief Medical Officer, Dr Alberto Gonzalez Garcia, told OT  that visual electrophysiology worked by measuring the electrical activity of neurons. 

He highlighted that while ocular coherence tomography (OCT) detected cell deaths, electrophysiology recorded the function of the cells that are still alive, even if under stress. 

The main potential of the technology for glaucoma was early detection, Dr Gonzalez emphasised. 

“It also allows clinicians to read the recovery of retinal ganglion cell function,” Dr Gonzalez shared. 

“After you’ve treated the eyes, you can see if the functionality of the cells has reversed back to a good state,” he added. 

To carry out the test, the patient is seated in front of the device and sensors are placed on the lower lid of each eye and one on the forehead. The eye is then stimulated with light or patterns on a screen and the sensors collect the electrical activity that is generated within the eye. 

“It’s a fast, objective and non-invasive test,” Dr Gonzalez highlighted. 

Last year, Diopsys began an expansion campaign outside of the US. The company has installed more than 2500 electrophysiology systems, which are now available in 25 countries. 

Diopsys Vice President of International Sales, Bill Shields, told OT  that the UK market was one of the top five in Europe. 

“There are not many countries around the world where optometry is as strong as it is in the UK,” Mr Shields emphasised. 

“We see this as a huge opportunity. Our product, which is really focusing on early detection and the management of disease, plays right into the needs of optometry in the UK,” he added. 

Electrophysiology has been around for more than 40 years, Mr Shields shared. 

“But for the private clinician it has always been a device that is used in the hospital. We have taken it out of the hospital environment and we are making it accessible to clinicians in their office,” he explained. 

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