Article Date: 12/1/2009

It's As Easy As IOP
instrumental focus

It's As Easy As IOP

Applanation tonometer boosts practice efficiency.

JOHN R. FISH, O.D.

Sticking to our patient appointment schedule is an on-going challenge — particularly when a block of patients present for diagnostic exams. Considering that an increasing number of our patients are presenting with age-related eye disease, it's becoming even more challenging. Because running behind can cost us patients, we must employ diagnostic devices that expedite the exam process, while also providing accurate data. One such device: the AccuPen, from Accutome.

Portability

The AccuPen is a portable, ambidextrous, handheld applanation tonometer that uses a 3.6-volt lithium battery. As a result, it enables you and/or a staff member to move seamlessly from exam room to exam room to obtain intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements. And since the device includes Accu-Tip covers, cross contamination isn't a concern.

The instrument's portability also makes it ideal for patients who have physical issues, such as obesity. This is because the AccuPen enables measurements in both the upright and prone position, and getting these patients to fit behind a full-size tonometer can be a timely and uncomfortable process for both staff and the patient. I use the Accupen on my elderly patients as well for these same reasons.

Ease of use

Whenever installing new technology in my practice, I'm always concerned about staff training and the learning curve, as both can put a kink in the patient appointment schedule. With the Accupen, both took roughly five minutes. This is because it requires a simple fourstep process: Instill topical anesthesia into the eye, place the AccuTip cover, push a button, and the digital readout provides the IOP measurement in less than 10 seconds per eye.

AccuPen
HEIGHT: 7 1/4"
WIDTH: 1 1/4"
DEPTH: 1 1/4"
WEIGHT: 3.0 oz.
COST: $2,795

Accurate measurements

The AccuPen uses gravity-offset technology and micro-strain gauge technology, which measures small corneal deviations, to ensure IOP measurement accuracy.

Other accuracy-ensuring features: proprietary high-resolution, real-time waveform analysis, sighting lines for easy corneal view and a built-in IOP correction calculator, which obtains adjusted IOP measurements based on the patient's central corneal thickness (CCT).

In cases of corneal irregularity, such as keratoconus, I've found that the device provides exceptionally accurate data. I think this is because its small tip minimizes the influence of corneal curvatures. Further, the maneuverability of the tip enables me to obtain precise IOP readings on patients who have significant eye turn, nystagmus or very small fissures.

Unfortunately, glaucoma, as is the case with other age-related eye diseases, is on the rise due to aging baby boomers. Therefore, we're providing more diagnostic exams, further straining our ability to stick with patient appointment times. Because this can alienate and possibly cost us patients, we must seek diagnostic tools that both streamline the exam process and provide precise data. OM


DR. FISH PRACTICES AT EAGLE EYE ASSOCIATES WHERE HE SPECIALIZES IN THE EXAMINATION, DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT, MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION OF DISEASES AND DISORDERS OF THE VISUAL SYSTEM, THE EYE, AND RELATED SYSTEMS. E-MAIL HIM AT JFISH@EAGLEEYEASSOCIATES.COM.

Optometric Management, Issue: December 2009