Article Date: 4/1/2008

A Focus on The Fundus
instrumental strategies

A Focus on The Fundus

This easy-to-use camera aids in your diagnosis of retinal disease.

ZEN-NI SU, O.D., LOMITA, CALIF.

Diabetic retinopathy affects more than 5.3 million Americans age 18 and older, according to the National Eye Institute. In addition, it's estimated that more than three million Americans have glaucoma but only half of those know they have it, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. Further, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness for those age 55 and older in the United States, affecting more than 10 million Americans, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. Given these facts, it's essential we utilize non-mydriatic fundus cameras.

Here, I discuss the two reasons I believe you should employ the AFC-230 non-mydriatic camera, from Nidek.

1. A picture is worth a thousand words

The AFC-230 accurately conveys the retinal surface in clear and detailed images, via its 12.8-megapixel resolution. In fact, when my staff and I first saw the camera's photos on the device's 5.7-inch Thin Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Display (TFT LCD) monitor, we exclaimed "wow," almost in unison. An added helpful feature: magnification adjustment, enabling me to confidently detect retinal disease early and assess the pathology of my retinal-disease patients. I can even input my evaluation of an image on the monitor at the same time. Further, because I can capture the images as JPEGS, I'm able to easily e-mail them to retinal specialists for further interpretation, should I feel a referral is necessary.

The device has also enabled me to effectively educate the patient on the importance of my assessment through the AFC-230's photographic evidence. As a result, I've found that compliance to my recommendations and prescribed treatments has increased.


AFC-230
HEIGHT: 20 inches
WIDTH: 11 inches
LENGTH: 19.9 inches
FOOTPRINT: 11 × 19.9 inches
COST: $24,000 to $26,000 depending on configuration.

My staff and I offer the services of the AFC-230 to non-retinal disease suspects as well. I've found that once we explain its capabilities and allow the patient to read the company's brief brochure, 75% to 80% of my patients elect to have my staff use the camera as part of their comprehensive exam — regardless of insurance coverage.

2. Ease of use

One of my concerns with any new equipment is the learning curve and comfort level of the staff. My staff was able to master the AFC-230 on their first day using it. This is mostly likely because:

• Nidek has logically placed the device's controls, facilitating use.

• the camera has auto-focus and auto-tracking features, such as blink detection, which track the eye, even if the patient moves.

As a result of the staff's comfort with the device, I've been able to spend more quality time with my patients.

Because the AFC-230 can enable you to accurately screen retinal-disease suspects and monitor retinal-disease pathology, educate patients on the importance of your assessment, increase your practice's revenue and spend more quality time with your patients, your question shouldn't be "why should I consider this device," but "why haven't I considered this device." OM


DR. SU IS IN SOLO PRIVATE IN LOMITA, CALIF. SHE IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE CALIFORNIA OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION AND THE AMERICAN OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION. E-MAIL HER AT ZENNISU@AOL.COM.

Optometric Management, Issue: April 2008