Article Date: 10/1/2007

Early Detection Home Run
instrumental strategies

Early Detection Home Run

Score with your patients and practice by using this retinal imaging system.

DAVID G. KIRSCHEN, O.D., PH.D.

While vision therapy, contact lenses and sports goggles enable ball players to achieve optimum vision so they can win games, the Kowa nonmyd a-D 5 MEGA/VK2 digital imaging system enables us to achieve optimum vision so we can identify, diagnose and treat retinal-disease patients.

Imaging bases loaded

The device offers enhanced image quality that closely resembles what is viewed with my binocular indirect ophthalmoscope (BIO) or direct ophthalmoscope. This maximizes my ability to see the smallest details of the patient's fundus image to identify and monitor retinal pathology. Also, the device's camera offers a 20° field-of-view angle that magnifies (not zooms in on) the optic nerve. This enhances my ability to detect retinal pathology early and prescribe the appropriate treatments to stave off vision loss.

Additionally, the VK2 software does not require visual aids, such as 3-D glasses, and allows patients to observe optic-disc changes that occur over time.

Ruthian convenience

Staff can easily operate the camera, allowing me to spend more time with my patients. Further, staff can electronically transfer the photo to my practice server, so I can view the image from any computer in my practice — an enormous convenience.

The instrument's movable optical head allows my staff to quickly and correctly position the patient, and they can easily adjust the instrument's chinrest to accommodate patient needs. Also, the VK2 software's Integration Bridge to my OfficeMate ExamWRITER program saves my staff time by accessing important patient information and integrating my patient data.

Accurate calls

Because the device's photo clearly and accurately illustrates the seriousness of the anomaly better than any practitioner could verbally, it facilitates patient education, instilling medication compliance. Also, I can instantly share the images with colleagues, such as retinal specialists, if necessary and save the images to monitor a patient's condition.

Triple play

I recommend digital imaging to all my patients, regardless of whether their insurance covers it. I've found that because I take the time to explain the benefits of the device, about 80% to 85% of my patients have elected to have the images taken as part of their comprehensive exam. This has been beneficial three-fold: It has enabled me to discover the early signs of pathology in non-retinal disease suspects; patients are pleased that I have a permanent record of their eye health; and since I began offering this service more than three years ago, my exam fee per patient has increased 32%.

The Kowa nonmyd a-D 5MEGA/VK2 digital imaging system has truly enabled me to hit a home run for my practice. This is because it has provided me with the optimal vision needed to detect retinal pathology early, has helped my staff and I function more efficiently and has increased my practice revenue. OM


DR. KIRSCHEN IS PROFESSOR OF BASIC AND VISUAL SCIENCE AT THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY. HE HAS SERVED AS A TEAM OPTOMETRIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES DODGERS AND BOSTON RED SOX FOR THE LAST 16 SEASONS.


The Kowa nonmyd a-D 5MEGA/VK2 digital imaging system
HEIGHT: 18"
WIDTH: 12"
LENGTH: 20"
WEIGHT: 46lbs.
COST: $24,995


Optometric Management, Issue: October 2007