Revolutionising the eye exam

Moorfields Eye Charity is supporting research  by Dr Pearse Keane to transform eye examinations.

Currently, little has changed in the eye examination in more than a century. Dr Keane's research will revolutionise how eye examinations are performed in hospitals by using a new form of ocular imaging device, called binocular optical coherence tomography (OCT).

Binocular OCT provides extremely high-resolution images of the eye in a completely non-invasive manner. This imaging provides much greater resolution than CT or MRI scanning, and can be obtained in only a fraction of a second.

It is hoped that the unique design willl allow patients to acquire the images from their own eyes without assistance from a doctor or nurse. In addition to acquiring images of the eye, a binocular OCT device can perform a range of other eye tests such as measuring the reactions of the pupils to light or the movements of each eye.

The new features of binocular OCT have the potential to make eye examination much quicker and more efficient.

Dr Keane says:

It will allow a comprehensive eye examination to be performed in an automated manner and mean that patients with less severe stable eye diseases of the retina can have all their preliminary testing done in one quick session before seeing the doctor for a consultation.

The device could also speed up patients’ hospital visits with less time spent in the waiting room and more time with the doctor. In the longer term, the device could allow patients to have their chronic eye diseases monitored from their own homes, or from their local GP, pharmacy or opticians.