Article Date: 8/1/2005

instrumental strategies
A Device to Build A Dream On
This auto-refractor/keratometer looks to the future.
MARC R. BLOOMENSTEIN, O.D., F.A.A.O.

Do you ever day dream about what the exam lane of the future will consist of? After watching all six episodes of the Star Wars saga, I cannot help but wonder what the future will hold for optometry. How impressive would it be if we had a Human Cyborg C3PO or an R2D2 that could accurately and predictably assist in the eye evaluation? An unlikely scenario since George Lucas does not seem to have plans to develop ophthalmic equipment — but Tomey does. In fact, the RC-5000 auto-refractor/keratometer is in a new generation of ophthalmic equipment.


Tomey's RC-5000

Starting strong

It doesn't take long to appreciate the innovative and technological advancements that are standard in the Tomey RC-5000. Not wanting to betray my fellow males, I used the RC-5000 without reading the directions or asking for assistance.

The RC-5000 starts up with a fanfare of beeps and the alignment of the measurement head. The measurement screen display is a touch screen that allows the user to maneuver as quickly as a flick of the wrist. Touching the "R" button activated the automatic measurement and set the measurement head into a smooth motion aligning the right eye. Rather than the sterile generic sounds most auto-refractors emit, the Tomey RC-5000 sounds like a galactic video game as it prepares the measurements. Many patients commented on how "cool" the sounds were. This may seem trivial, but it has the affect of taking the patient's mind off the near target while they're focusing. Combining the sounds with the fogging feature in the Tomey RC-5000 and the wide-viewed fixation target, keeps accommodation to a minimum, thus providing a highly accurate refractive power measurement.

Features you'll appreciate

The RC-5000 is packed with features that give the O.D. as much information as necessary. Simply touching the "mode" display allows the user to get the refraction and the corneal curvature automatically. If you're only interested in either the power or the curvature you switch to refractometry, or keratometry mode. The Tomey RC-5000 assists with contact lens fittings and potential refractive surgery candidates with a corneal and pupil diameter display. Lastly, you can achieve a contact lens base curve setting with a touch of the screen. The Tomey RC-5000 has base curves of contact lenses stored and categorized; it will suggest lenses that it then automatically prints. How cool is that?

Visual displays of each action with a corresponding picture or abbreviation leave no room for confusion. Even the printout displays a diagram of an eye with light rays demonstrating the specific refractive error, which can be helpful when talking with patients about their needed correction.

Delivering more

It would be myopic to think that all auto-refractors are created equal. The sleek, compact Tomey RC-5000 can provide a tremendous amount of information for the optometric work up. The ease of use, vivid graphic displays and fast, accurate measurements truly make the Tomey RC-5000 an out- of-this-world auto-refractor. Who knows? If they decide to make Star Wars Episode VII we may see the RC-5000 on the big screen.

DR. BLOOMENSTEIN IS THE MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF THE REFRACTIVE CLINIC AT THE BARNET DULANEY PERKINS EYE CENTER IN PHOENIX. A FELLOW OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPTOMETRY, HE LECTURES AND PUBLISHES ON ANTERIOR SEGMENT CARE AND REFRACTIVE ISSUES.

 



Optometric Management, Issue: August 2005