Article Date: 9/1/2013

Profession Pulse
profession PULSE

OUR EXPERTS DISCUSS THE HOT TOPICS IN OPTOMETRY

ANTERIOR SEGMENT PHOTOGRAPHY
images Ben Gaddie, O.D., F.A.A.O.: I think anterior segment photography and video is one of the best “in the lane” technologies today. The ability to show the patient what you may be struggling to articulate is priceless.

images Milton Horn, O.D., F.A.A.O.: In addition, cell phone cameras have really revolutionized ocular photography. A picture pops up on the screen from one of our imaging systems. We take a cell phone picture of the screen and send or text it to the patients, or the patients can take the picture themselves — instant gratification. I think the cell phone cameras and video is getting so good that it may soon rival anterior segment photography.

B.G.: While cell phone cameras have undoubtedly improved dramatically in the last few years, I feel their biggest weakness is the ability to archive and integrate into EHR application. If you take a cell phone picture, you can e-mail it to the patient, but if you were to be audited by Medicare or other payers, how do you recall the picture while keeping it associated with the patient record? Where is the connection between the physical or virtual locale of the photo and the accompanying written interpretation and report?

Another issue is the quality of the actual photo or video. Perhaps the newer LED slit lamps have improved the overall quality of cell phone slit lamp photos, but having an integrated system is just much easier to use, and the quality is outstanding.


M.H.: I agree, Ben. A picture database is a challenge to manage if you rely on cell phone or tablet cameras for documentation purposes. We prefer to take a picture of the screen after it’s stored in the searchable database just for that reason. I also like to take the picture for the patient to ensure personal information is removed or not included. I find younger patients are more likely to love it as they can put the picture on their social media pages minutes later — many of them even get a thrill over normal appearing retinas, anterior segments, etc.

B.G.: With that said, there are different levels of quality in regards to specially designed slit lamp imaging systems. I think at a minimum you should look for a 4-chip CCD camera that doesn’t require backlighting. Take a test drive at one of the trade shows and see for yourself. I think these systems improve patient education and compliance as well as the doctor’s follow-up decision making. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. OM

DR. HOM PRACTICES IN AZUSA, CALIF. HE IS A MULTI-AWARD WINNER, MOST RECENTLY WINNING THE 2012 AOA CLC S LEGEND AWARD. E-MAIL HIM AT EYEMAGE@MMINTERNET.COM.

DR. GADD IE IS THE OWNER AND DIRECTOR OF THE GADD IE EYE CENTERS, A MULTI-LOCATION, FULL-SERVICE PRACTICE IN LOUISVILLE, KY., AND IS CURRENTLY THE CHAIR OF THE CONTINUING EDUCATION COMMITTEE FOR THE AMERICAN OPTOMETRIC ASS OCIATION. E-MAIL HIM AT IBGADD IE@ME.COM, OR SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.

The authors report no financial interest in the products mentioned.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: September 2013, page(s): 52