Smartphone Slit Lamp Imaging: A Study

Technology
23 August 2023
Smartphone Slit Lamp Imaging: A Study

With its continuous advancements in examination techniques, Ophthalmology has seen significant progress in imaging the anterior and posterior eye segments. From the early drawings to the advent of digital photography, the field has constantly sought improved documentation methods. With the proliferation of smartphones, the potential for clinical imaging has surged, giving rise to various smartphone adapters for slit lamp imaging.

The Need for Smartphone Adapters

While smartphones offer the convenience of integrated cameras, their simultaneous use with a slit lamp for imaging can be cumbersome, especially during procedures like fundoscopy. Several adapters have been developed to mount smartphones onto slit lamps to address this challenge. These adapters enhance ease of use and enable efficient image capture during clinical examinations.

slit lamp adapter for smartphone
OptiREC adapter is easy to align because of its click and fit holder

A Novel Solution: OptiREC Smartphone Adapter

A recent study conducted by German and Swiss ophthalmologists, at the Department of Ophthalmology at University Hospital Zurich, introduced and evaluated a novel smartphone adapter called OptiREC. Unlike specific adapters that are limited to certain phone models or slit lamp types, the OptiREC adapter is universal and can be mounted on any eyepiece. This feature ensures that binocular use of the slit lamp is possible when the adapter is flipped aside.

Study Methodology and Results

The study included a smartphone group comprising medical staff and a control group comprising a professional ophthalmic photographer. Both groups captured anterior and posterior segment images of the same subject. The smartphone group used an Apple iPhone 11 with the OptiREC adapter, while the control group employed professional equipment. The images were graded for quality, and participant feedback was collected through a usability questionnaire.

The study revealed that the OptiREC smartphone adapter yielded high-quality anterior segment images comparable to the control group. However, posterior segment images had slightly lower quality. Over three attempts, participants’ perceived difficulty decreased, and image quality improved. The adapter’s installation did not interrupt clinical workflows and could be easily flipped aside to allow binocular use of the slit lamp.

four pictures of eyes comparing the quality of the pictures from the posterior and anterior chamber
Pictures from the posterior and anterior chamber taken from iphone 11 and OptiREC and a professional camera

Figure 1. Comparison of smartphone images with photo studio images: (A) Anterior segment picture taken by smartphone; (B) Anterior segment picture taken by photo studio; (C) Posterior segment picture taken by smartphone. (D) Posterior segment picture taken by photo studio.

Source: Muth, D.R.; Blaser, F.; Foa, N.; Scherm, P.; Mayer, W.J.; Barthelmes, D.; Zweifel, S.A. Smartphone Slit Lamp Imaging—Usability and Quality Assessment. Diagnostics 202313, 423. doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics13030423

Benefits and Future Prospects

The OptiREC smartphone adapter offers a cost-effective and portable solution for ophthalmic image capture. Its usability and the improvement in image quality over a short learning curve make it a valuable tool for clinical documentation and communication. Not only does it save time and increase ophthalmologists’ independence, but it also provides a bridge to enhance patient care outside regular consultation hours.

Not only does it save time and increase ophthalmologists' independence, but it also provides a bridge to enhance patient care outside regular consultation hours

As technology and software continue to evolve, the potential for smartphone imaging in ophthalmology grows. With the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and advancements in image processing, the interpretability and clinical utility of smartphone-captured images will further increase. This could revolutionize how ophthalmic examinations are conducted and documented, ultimately improving patient care.

Source: Muth, D.R.; Blaser, F.; Foa, N.; Scherm, P.; Mayer, W.J.; Barthelmes, D.; Zweifel, S.A. Smartphone Slit Lamp Imaging—Usability and Quality Assessment. Diagnostics 202313, 423. doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics13030423

*As you read through the study, you might notice that the adapter is referred to as SlitREC instead of OptiREC. This is because the study was conducted prior to our product’s official release for the broader audience, and we later decided to rename it


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