During the past year, we witnessed the emergence of many new ophthalmic technologies. Some were novel products that were launched and others included products that gained wider acceptance in the medical community. The following is a brief overview of the five most interesting diagnostic and therapeutic technologies:
- Marco’s OPD-Scan III Refractive Power/Corneal Analyzer performs a multitude of anterior segment measurements and is able to display the data in numerous formats. It is ideal for corneal, cataract, and IOL analysis. Data acquisition includes autorefraction, keratometry, corneal topography,
wavefront aberrometry, and pupillometry. The maps that are available are axial, gradient, instantaneous, numeric K, numeric power, point spread function, modulation transfer function graph, Zernike graph, visual acuity, internal OPD, white to white, and difference. Its blue light, 33 ring, placido disc topography is easier for patients to tolerate and is obtained in one second. The device has EMR compatibility, network integration, and viewing software available for exam lanes.
- Volk’s Pictor is a unique imaging device that allows the examiner to capture both digital still and video images of the posterior segment (non-mydriatic with a 45 degree field of view), anterior segment, and ocular adnexa. It is lightweight and portable, can be mounted to a slit lamp, and has computer and patient database connectivity. For non-retinal specialists, this is a wonderful alternative to the traditional fundus camera, and it is more versatile than a slit-lamp mounted digital camera.
- Reichert’s iPac handheld pachymeter offers one-button control and navigation, rotating color LCD screen, rechargeable lithium ion battery (via USB cable or charging cradle), and bluetooth wireless connectivity. The device’s color display can be customized to show IOP correction, standard deviation and L/R or OD/OS notation. Measurement data can be sent directly to the examiner’s EMR system or a printer. This lightweight portable device offers more flexibility and ease of use in a busy clinic compared to traditional pachymetry units.
- Topcon’s CV-5000 automated phoropter decreases refraction time by 30%, can be controlled through a PC or iPad, and can interface with EMRs. It can also be connected to other instruments such as the KR-1 autokeratorefractometer, which automatically obtains objective refraction data, can detect the presence of a cataract, and can measure patients with small pupils.
- Optos’ Daytona is the company’s next-generation ultra-wide field retinal device. It is a smaller device than the previous generation and is also designed to capture higher quality images of the retina. Daytona also features an improved patient interface. "It was built to meet the demand for more exacting clinical imaging and analysis capabilities within practices seeing a healthy patient base with some need for managing ocular disease" said David Iannetta, Director of Strategic Marketing.
- Femtosecond lasers for cataract surgery: These devices continue to lead the field of technologic advances in ophthalmology. Alcon’s LenSx laser, which was the first system to gain FDA clearance, has been installed at various locations throughout the world. OptiMedica’s Catalys Precision Laser System gained CE mark approval in September and subsequently received FDA 510(k) clearance in December for creating capsulotomy and lens fragmentation. It is being used at locations outside the United States and will now be available to US surgeons. The B+L/Technolas VICTUS Femtosecond Laser Platform, which can be utilized for cataract, refractive, and corneal transplant surgery, received CE mark approval in December.
- STAAR’s V4c ICL, which is designed with a central port (i.e., CentraFLOW technology), gained CE mark approval in April. This new version of the ICL allows aqueous flow through the lens and as a result there is no longer a need to perform iridotomies.
- Regeneron’s Eylea (aflibercept) gained FDA approval in November for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration. This intravitreal medication, formerly VEGF Trap-Eye, has also been shown to be effective in treating central retinal vein occlusion and diabetic macular edema.
- Avedro’s VibeX (0.1% riboflavin solution), which is used in conjunction with its corneal collagen cross-linking system, was granted orphan drug status by the FDA in December. The KXL system received CE mark approval last year and is currently in FDA trials.
- Novamed’s Orbtex bioceramic orbital implant received FDA 510(k) clearance in December. It is a high strength, low friability implant (available in 14 to 22 mm sizes) with a smooth, porous surface. It does not require tissue wrapping and contains a suture muscle attachment platform that facilitates the sizing and preparation process thus reducing operating time.