Article Date: 7/1/2009

Perform Digital Imaging
instrumental strategies

Perform Digital Imaging

Maximize efficiency and patient care with digital slit lamp imaging.

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

I'm always exploring ways to become more efficient and reduce the endless stream of paperwork plaguing patient care. Going digital has been a great way to streamline my services and enhance the quality of treatment my practice can provide to my patients.

Six months ago, I added the Kowa Digiversal Slit Lamp Image System, from Kowa Optimed, Inc., to my practice's arsenal of equipment. I integrated the System with my Topcon slit lamp. It allows me to sort, manipulate and store high-resolution images and video recordings. I can efficiently review all of the slit lamp images from any viewing station within my practice.

The System is available for both the MAC and Windows platform for capture on a personal computer, though Kowa Optimed can also supply you with a mini-PC that goes with the System. Further, the Digiversal Slit Lamp Image System not only integrates with the Kowa SL-15 slit lamp, but also with slit lamps from Haag Streit USA, Marco, Carl Zeiss Meditec, and Topcon.

The integration of digital imaging technology into my slit lamp has increased my effectiveness in early detection and documentation of eye problems. This is because the Kowa Digiversal Slit Lamp Image System incorporates zoom, replay and frame freeze capabilities.

Image quality

The System captures still images as well as live video with accurate color reproduction, clarity and contrast. Also, its software enables you to expand the digital images during any period of the review process, allowing you to focus on a specific area. This enhances your ability to detect early such eye conditions as blepharitis, ocular allergies, pinguecula, pterygium and cataracts, among others.

Ease of use

Operating the Kowa Digiversal Slit Lamp Image System is easy. In terms of set up, all you have to do is contact Kowa to connect the System to your slit lamp, and then you start capturing high-resolution images, virtually instantly. Capturing data is as simple as pushing the System's left foot pedal for still images and the right foot pedal for video capture.

The Kowa Digiversal Slit Lamp Image System offers you the ability to have frame-by-frame image comparison, and provides an historical record of digital images for diagnosis and legal documentation.

Once the Digiversal Slit Lamp Image System acquires images, it uses its built-in software to automatically place them in the patient digital medical record. With the captured images, you can present patients with documented photographic evidence of their problem, educate them regarding the diagnosis and arrive at a decision regarding the most appropriate treatment.

In addition, the System's software enables you to perform frame-by-frame image comparisons — ideal for not only diagnosing and managing pathology, but also for legal documentation for future reference.

The Digiversal Slit Lamp Image System's ability to separate and store images via patient name, provide a high-resolution image, offer image-enhancing features and make set up and operation simple, make it the ideal comprehensive, hassle-free method of streamlining your practice, while enhancing your patient care. Remember: Investing in technology can not only provide a return on your investment, but also create an actual profit center for your practice. OM


DR. KIRSCHEN IS CURRENTLY THE CHIEF OF BINOCULAR VISION AND ORTHOPTIC SERVICES AT THE JULES STEIN EYE INSTITUTE AT THE DAVID GEFFEN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, UCLA. ALSO, HE'S A PROFESSOR EMERITUS OF BASIC AND VISUAL SCIENCE AND OPTOMETRY AT THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY. IN ADDITION, HE'S BEEN IN PRIVATE PRACTICE IN CALIFORNIA FOR 37 YEARS. E-MAIL HIM AT DAVID1@KIRSCHEN.NET.

Optometric Management, Issue: July 2009