An engineering science professor from British Columbia designed an all new high resolution scanner that will enable eye problems to be diagnosed earlier. This will also allow earlier treatment and better outcomes for patients as a result. You can read the source article from metronews.ca here.
Simon Fraser University professor Marinko Sarunic says that eye doctors today only have low resolution scanners which are capable of detecting large changes in the retina. His higher resolution scanner, however, can detect smaller changes before they begin to negatively affect a patient’s vision. In glaucoma, for example, some patients may start developing symptoms slowly, but a sudden and rapid presentation can occur and it is a race against time to prevent complete vision loss in the affected eye. To learn more about glaucoma, click here.
While high resolution retinal scanners already exist, they are bulky, expensive, and out of reach of most ophthalmologist offices. These large scanners are more optimized for research, not practical medical use. Sarunic’s scanner is more compact and affordable, and he hopes that it will become a regular and valuable piece of office equipment.
He spent nearly a decade developing the new scanner and the device underwent testing for eight months last year. Continued testing continued for three months this year as well. Medical experts from Vancouver General Hospital praised the ability of the scanner and are convinced that it could completely replace dye injections which doctors use to detect, diagnose, and monitor eye problems today.
Early detection is essential for effective treatment of many eye problems, and during its test run the scanner helped doctors diagnose and treat eye diseases before the patient’s retinas received permanent damage. Many of the diseases are age-related, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. These sorts of eye problems are project to affect nearly 500,000 Canadian citizens. The number is expected to increase as the country’s population ages.
This new evolution in eye scanning technology is still quite rare, with only a couple of other similar projects in various stages of development around the world. However, the scanner looks like the clear choice for vision doctors of the future.
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