Article Date: 6/1/2003

instrumental strategies
The New Humphrey Matrix
Better serve your glaucoma patients with this new visual field tester.
GREGG OSSIP, O.D.

When I first heard about the new Matrix, I couldn't wait to see it in action. We have Carl Zeiss Meditec's Humphrey FDT (Frequency Doubling Technology) in all of our offices. We've been performing visual fields screening in our practice since the 1960s because we believe that screening fields is mandatory. Now the company has introduced the Humphrey Matrix, which uses Welch Allyn's frequency doubling technology for early detection and management of glaucoma.

The Matrix delivers

I was impressed that Carl Zeiss fit full threshold perimetry into the small FDT box -- it's kind of like the iMac of visual fields. Patients who have always hated sticking their heads into the infamous bowl are now excited to see technology take fields to a new level -- and make it more comfortable. The small unit feels different to the patient, so she's less reluctant to undergo regular fields testing. Yet it has the power of full-blown units.

I was happy to see the Humphrey printouts that have become the standard of both optometry and ophthalmology making the transition to the device easy and painless for all us creatures of habit. Furthermore, testing is quick and easy -- both for the patient and for the staff member performing the test.

The Humphrey Matrix is compact and more comfortable for the patient.

How does it work?

Frequency doubling technology detects visual field loss by targeting a subset of retinal ganglion cells in the magnocellular pathway. Patterns of flickering black and white bars trigger a reaction in these cells, creating the perception that twice the number of bars are actually present. The subset of retinal ganglion cells is believed to be the first damaged by glaucoma; combined with the low redundancy in these cells, early detection becomes possible.

Check out the features

The space-saving Humphrey Matrix performs the same strategies, such as 24-2, 30-2, 10-2, N-30 full threshold and macula full threshold, as the larger units that we've all used for threshold testing. And just like the larger Humphrey Field Analyzer, the familiar Humphrey StatPac-like printout is there to analyze, complete with gray scales, global indices, reliability indices, serial field overview and OU screening plot. The instrument enables you to screen and manage glaucoma patients with one device.

Other features include easy set-up of the instrument and the patient; GHT glaucoma-hemifield analysis software; full threshold 24-2 in five minutes; and the ability to export/import Matrix results via RS-232, CD-R/W and floppy drive.

Now is the time

If you're in the market for an updated visual fields instrument, it's time to evaluate the Humphrey Matrix. Just as the frequency-doubling instrument revolutionized the screening visual fields process, the new Matrix will change the threshold visual fields testing forever.

As we all know, the patient who develops glaucoma in his 40s or 50s will spend a good portion of the rest of his life sitting at a visual fields machine. I think the patient who values time over money will appreciate your investment in a device that makes his life easier while still protecting his most valuable asset -- his vision.

For more information and an in office demonstration, call Carl Zeiss Meditec at 1-800-342-9821.

DR. OSSIP IS IN GROUP PRACTICE IN INDIANAPOLIS. HE'S LECTURED EXTENSIVELY AND HAS WRITTEN NUMEROUS ARTICLES ON PRACTICE MANAGEMENT. YOU CAN REACH HIM BY E-MAIL AT GOSSIP2020@AOL.COM.

 


Optometric Management, Issue: June 2003