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  • Technologies in Optometry: Altris AI for Clare and Illingworth

    technologies in optometry
    Altris Team
    3 min.
    3 min.

    Clare and Illingworth, renowned leaders in the field of optometry, have embraced cutting-edge technology to enhance their Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) analysis workflow. The introduction of Altris AI at this optometry center marks a significant milestone in their commitment to providing high-quality services to patients.

    According to one of the owners of the optometry center, Richard, “We are adding a new OCT to one of our practices and will benefit from some extra support with AI to speed up the interpretation of results and assist the busy Optometry team.”

    Altris AI, a leading provider of artificial intelligence solutions for healthcare, specializes in developing algorithms and software applications that augment medical imaging analysis. The integration of Altris AI into the British Optometry Center’s OCT workflow brings forth a host of advantages, revolutionizing the way eye conditions are diagnosed and managed.

    FDA-cleared AI for OCT Analysis

    Try it yourself in our Demo Account or get a Brochure

    Demo Account Get brochure

     

    Technologies in Optometry and Ophthalmology: How AI Helps

    One of the key benefits of Altris AI is its ability to automate and expedite the analysis of OCT scans. Traditionally, optometrists spent considerable time manually reviewing and interpreting OCT images.

    FDA-cleared Altris AI is created to make the OCT workflow more effective

    How does it work? Altris AI serves as a copilot, analyzing OCT scans in parallel to the eye care specialist. For instance, on this OCT scan, Altris AI detects Diffuse Edema, Floaters, Intraretinal Hyperreflective Foci, Posterior Hyaloid Membrane Detachment, RPE disruption, Shadowing, Hard Exudates, Intraretinal Cystoid Fluid. 

    • The classification in this case would be Diabetic Retinopathy. 

    AI blindness prevention

    With Altris AI, the process becomes significantly faster and more efficient. The AI algorithms can quickly analyze intricate details within the scans, providing clinicians with accurate and timely insights into the patient’s eye health.

    Moreover, the use of Altris AI contributes to increased diagnostic accuracy. The algorithms are trained on vast datasets, learning to recognize subtle patterns and anomalies that may escape the human eye.

    Thus, Altris AI recognizes 70+ retina pathologies and biomarkers, including DME, DR, GA, AMD, etc. 

    FDA-cleared AI for OCT Analysis

    Try it yourself in our Demo Account or get a Brochure

    Demo Account Get brochure

    Technologies in Optometry are paving the way to a new future where eye care specialists and AI will work together for better patient outcomes.  AI will never be able to substitute eye care specialists because the final diagnosis must include clinical history, results of lab tests, and other diagnostic methods.

     

  • Retina Layers Segmentation on OCT

    Maria Martynova
    5 min.
    5 min.

    The knowledge about macular retinal layer thicknesses and volume is an important diagnostic tool for any eye care professional today.  The information about the macular retinal layers often correlates with the evaluation of severity in many pathologies. 

    Manual segmentation is extremely time-consuming and prone to numerous errors, which is why OCT equipment manufacturers use automatic macular retinal layer thickness segmentation.

    Test FDA-cleared AI for OCT analysis

    Demo Account Get brochure

    Yet, retina layer segmentation in different OCT equipment manufacturers as well as in different OCT models varies significantly. It is sometimes difficult even for an experienced ECP to find the correlations and track the pathology dynamics. The normative bases refer only to the thickness of the entire retina, they are not related to segmentation. However, if the segmentation is performed incorrectly by the machine, it will lead to an incorrect calculation of the thickness of the retina or its layers, and then the assessment will be incorrect.

    At Altris AI we aim to visualize retina layers for a more accurate understanding of pathological process localization.  Such retina layers segmentation allows for defining the localization of the pathological process and tracing in dynamics the spread of the pathological process or the aftermath in the retina structure after its completion.

     

    For instance, the EZ layer is important in terms of vision loss forecasting.

    OCT Manufacturers  & Retina Layers Analysis

    From 2010 most eye care specialists have used the same OCT International Nomenclature for Optical Coherence Tomography. OCT equipment manufacturers rely on this nomenclature for retina layer thickness calculation and most ophthalmologists use it as well.

    Taking into account retina structure, some layers can be united into complexes. For instance, the ganglion complex includes RNFL, ganglion cell layer & OPL. 

    Let’s take a look at various OCT equipment manufacturers and the way they perform retina layer segmentation analysis. 

    For instance, here is how Topcon Advanced Boundary Segmentation (TABSTM) automated segmentation differentiates between nine intraretinal boundaries:

    • ILM
    • NFL/GCL,
    • GCL/IPL, 
    • IPL/INL, 
    • INL/OPL, 
    • ELM
    • EZ
    • OS/RPE
    • BM

    Zeiss CIRRUS uses two approaches to retina layer segmentation.  

    The existing segmentation algorithm (ESA) in CIRRUS estimates the positions of the inner plexiform layer (IPL) and outer plexiform layer (OPL) based on the internal limiting membrane (ILM) and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). To improve the accuracy of the segmentation of these layers, a multi-layer segmentation algorithm (MLS) was introduced, it truly segments layers instead of estimating their position. 

    Heidelberg Engineering offers to learn about the following inner and outer retina layers on their website. There are 10 retina layers according to Heidelberg, and they are the following:

    • ILM
    • RNFL
    • GCL
    • IPL
    • INL
    • OPL
    • ONL
    • ELM
    • PR
    • RPE
    • BM
    • CC
    • CS

    Why accurate retina layer segmentation is important?

    Retina layers segmentation helps eye care professionals to understand which pathology to consider in the first turn. For instance, changes in RPE and PR signify the development of Macular Degeneration. 

    Often such changes can also inform eye care specialists about the development of pathologies that lead to blindness, such as glaucoma, AMD, and Diabetic Retinopathy. 

     

    • Early Glaucoma Detection

    Historically, evaluation of early glaucomatous change has focused mostly on optic disk changes.  Modalities such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (HRT) or scanning laser polarimetry (GDx) with specially developed software algorithms have been used to quantitatively assess such changes. However, glaucomatous damage is primarily focused on retinal ganglion cells, which are particularly abundant in the peri-macular region (the only retinal area with a ganglion cell layer more than 1 layer thick), constituting, together with the nerve fiber layer, up to 35% of retinal macular thickness.

     Therefore, glaucomatous changes causing ganglion cell death could potentially result in a reduction of retinal macular thickness. Indeed, by employing specially developed algorithms to analyze OCT scans, previous studies have reported that glaucoma, even during the early stage, results in the thinning of inner retinal layers at the macular region.

    According to this study, the RNFL, GCL, and IPL levels out of all the retinal layers, the inner-most layers of the retina: the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), ganglion cell layer (GCL), and inner plexiform layer (IPL) show the best discriminative power for glaucoma detection. Among these, the RNFL around the circumpapillary region has shown great potential for discrimination. The automatic detection and segmentation of these layers can be approached with different classical digital image processing techniques.

    Test FDA-cleared AI for OCT analysis

    Demo Account Get brochure

     

    • Detection of AMD

    This first population-based study on spectral-domain optical coherence tomography-derived retinal layer thicknesses in a total of ∼1,000 individuals provides insights into the reliability of auto-segmentation and layer-specific reference values for an older population. 

    The findings showed a difference in thicknesses between early AMD and no AMD for some retinal layers, suggesting these as potential imaging biomarkers. When comparing layer thicknesses between early AMD and no AMD (822 eyes, 449 participants), the retinal pigment epithelium/Bruch’s membrane complex demonstrated a statistically significant thickening, and photoreceptor layers showed a significant thinning.

    • Detection of DR

    The depth and spatially resolved retinal thickness and reflectance measurements are potential biomarkers for the assessment and monitoring of Diabetic Retinopathy, one of the key reasons for blindness around the globe.

    For instance, this study confirmed that decreased RNFL thickness and increased INL/OPL thickness in diabetics without DR or with initial DR suggest early alterations in the inner retina. On the contrary, the outer retina seems not to be affected at the early stages of DM. Automatic intraretinal layering by SD-OCT may be a useful tool to diagnose and monitor early intraretinal changes in DR.

    Conclusion:

    Retina layer segmentation is crucial for the accurate detection of pathologies in the eye, especially in the field of ophthalmology and medical imaging. Here are several reasons why it is important:

    Precise Diagnosis: Retina layer segmentation provides a detailed map of the different retinal layers, which helps in the precise diagnosis of various eye conditions. It allows clinicians to identify the exact location of abnormalities, such as cysts, hemorrhages, or lesions, within the retina.

    Quantitative Analysis: It enables quantitative analysis of retinal structures. By measuring the thickness, volume, and other characteristics of specific layers, clinicians can assess the severity and progression of diseases like diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

    Early Detection: Some retinal pathologies manifest in specific layers of the retina before becoming visible on a fundus photograph. Retina layer segmentation can help detect these changes at an early stage, potentially leading to earlier intervention and improved outcomes.

    Treatment Planning: Knowing the precise location of pathologies within the retina’s layers can aid in the planning of treatment strategies. For example, in cases of macular holes or retinal detachment, surgeons can use this information to guide their procedures.

    Monitoring Disease Progression: Retina layer segmentation is valuable for monitoring how retinal diseases progress over time. Changes in the thickness or integrity of specific layers can be tracked to assess the effectiveness of treatments or the worsening of conditions.

     

popular Posted

  • Technologies in Optometry: Altris AI for Clare and Illingworth

    technologies in optometry
    Altris Team
    3 min.
    3 min.

    Clare and Illingworth, renowned leaders in the field of optometry, have embraced cutting-edge technology to enhance their Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) analysis workflow. The introduction of Altris AI at this optometry center marks a significant milestone in their commitment to providing high-quality services to patients.

    According to one of the owners of the optometry center, Richard, “We are adding a new OCT to one of our practices and will benefit from some extra support with AI to speed up the interpretation of results and assist the busy Optometry team.”

    Altris AI, a leading provider of artificial intelligence solutions for healthcare, specializes in developing algorithms and software applications that augment medical imaging analysis. The integration of Altris AI into the British Optometry Center’s OCT workflow brings forth a host of advantages, revolutionizing the way eye conditions are diagnosed and managed.

    FDA-cleared AI for OCT Analysis

    Try it yourself in our Demo Account or get a Brochure

    Demo Account Get brochure

     

    Technologies in Optometry and Ophthalmology: How AI Helps

    One of the key benefits of Altris AI is its ability to automate and expedite the analysis of OCT scans. Traditionally, optometrists spent considerable time manually reviewing and interpreting OCT images.

    FDA-cleared Altris AI is created to make the OCT workflow more effective

    How does it work? Altris AI serves as a copilot, analyzing OCT scans in parallel to the eye care specialist. For instance, on this OCT scan, Altris AI detects Diffuse Edema, Floaters, Intraretinal Hyperreflective Foci, Posterior Hyaloid Membrane Detachment, RPE disruption, Shadowing, Hard Exudates, Intraretinal Cystoid Fluid. 

    • The classification in this case would be Diabetic Retinopathy. 

    AI blindness prevention

    With Altris AI, the process becomes significantly faster and more efficient. The AI algorithms can quickly analyze intricate details within the scans, providing clinicians with accurate and timely insights into the patient’s eye health.

    Moreover, the use of Altris AI contributes to increased diagnostic accuracy. The algorithms are trained on vast datasets, learning to recognize subtle patterns and anomalies that may escape the human eye.

    Thus, Altris AI recognizes 70+ retina pathologies and biomarkers, including DME, DR, GA, AMD, etc. 

    FDA-cleared AI for OCT Analysis

    Try it yourself in our Demo Account or get a Brochure

    Demo Account Get brochure

    Technologies in Optometry are paving the way to a new future where eye care specialists and AI will work together for better patient outcomes.  AI will never be able to substitute eye care specialists because the final diagnosis must include clinical history, results of lab tests, and other diagnostic methods.

     

  • Retina Layers Segmentation on OCT

    Maria Martynova
    5 min.
    5 min.

    The knowledge about macular retinal layer thicknesses and volume is an important diagnostic tool for any eye care professional today.  The information about the macular retinal layers often correlates with the evaluation of severity in many pathologies. 

    Manual segmentation is extremely time-consuming and prone to numerous errors, which is why OCT equipment manufacturers use automatic macular retinal layer thickness segmentation.

    Test FDA-cleared AI for OCT analysis

    Demo Account Get brochure

    Yet, retina layer segmentation in different OCT equipment manufacturers as well as in different OCT models varies significantly. It is sometimes difficult even for an experienced ECP to find the correlations and track the pathology dynamics. The normative bases refer only to the thickness of the entire retina, they are not related to segmentation. However, if the segmentation is performed incorrectly by the machine, it will lead to an incorrect calculation of the thickness of the retina or its layers, and then the assessment will be incorrect.

    At Altris AI we aim to visualize retina layers for a more accurate understanding of pathological process localization.  Such retina layers segmentation allows for defining the localization of the pathological process and tracing in dynamics the spread of the pathological process or the aftermath in the retina structure after its completion.

     

    For instance, the EZ layer is important in terms of vision loss forecasting.

    OCT Manufacturers  & Retina Layers Analysis

    From 2010 most eye care specialists have used the same OCT International Nomenclature for Optical Coherence Tomography. OCT equipment manufacturers rely on this nomenclature for retina layer thickness calculation and most ophthalmologists use it as well.

    Taking into account retina structure, some layers can be united into complexes. For instance, the ganglion complex includes RNFL, ganglion cell layer & OPL. 

    Let’s take a look at various OCT equipment manufacturers and the way they perform retina layer segmentation analysis. 

    For instance, here is how Topcon Advanced Boundary Segmentation (TABSTM) automated segmentation differentiates between nine intraretinal boundaries:

    • ILM
    • NFL/GCL,
    • GCL/IPL, 
    • IPL/INL, 
    • INL/OPL, 
    • ELM
    • EZ
    • OS/RPE
    • BM

    Zeiss CIRRUS uses two approaches to retina layer segmentation.  

    The existing segmentation algorithm (ESA) in CIRRUS estimates the positions of the inner plexiform layer (IPL) and outer plexiform layer (OPL) based on the internal limiting membrane (ILM) and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). To improve the accuracy of the segmentation of these layers, a multi-layer segmentation algorithm (MLS) was introduced, it truly segments layers instead of estimating their position. 

    Heidelberg Engineering offers to learn about the following inner and outer retina layers on their website. There are 10 retina layers according to Heidelberg, and they are the following:

    • ILM
    • RNFL
    • GCL
    • IPL
    • INL
    • OPL
    • ONL
    • ELM
    • PR
    • RPE
    • BM
    • CC
    • CS

    Why accurate retina layer segmentation is important?

    Retina layers segmentation helps eye care professionals to understand which pathology to consider in the first turn. For instance, changes in RPE and PR signify the development of Macular Degeneration. 

    Often such changes can also inform eye care specialists about the development of pathologies that lead to blindness, such as glaucoma, AMD, and Diabetic Retinopathy. 

     

    • Early Glaucoma Detection

    Historically, evaluation of early glaucomatous change has focused mostly on optic disk changes.  Modalities such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (HRT) or scanning laser polarimetry (GDx) with specially developed software algorithms have been used to quantitatively assess such changes. However, glaucomatous damage is primarily focused on retinal ganglion cells, which are particularly abundant in the peri-macular region (the only retinal area with a ganglion cell layer more than 1 layer thick), constituting, together with the nerve fiber layer, up to 35% of retinal macular thickness.

     Therefore, glaucomatous changes causing ganglion cell death could potentially result in a reduction of retinal macular thickness. Indeed, by employing specially developed algorithms to analyze OCT scans, previous studies have reported that glaucoma, even during the early stage, results in the thinning of inner retinal layers at the macular region.

    According to this study, the RNFL, GCL, and IPL levels out of all the retinal layers, the inner-most layers of the retina: the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), ganglion cell layer (GCL), and inner plexiform layer (IPL) show the best discriminative power for glaucoma detection. Among these, the RNFL around the circumpapillary region has shown great potential for discrimination. The automatic detection and segmentation of these layers can be approached with different classical digital image processing techniques.

    Test FDA-cleared AI for OCT analysis

    Demo Account Get brochure

     

    • Detection of AMD

    This first population-based study on spectral-domain optical coherence tomography-derived retinal layer thicknesses in a total of ∼1,000 individuals provides insights into the reliability of auto-segmentation and layer-specific reference values for an older population. 

    The findings showed a difference in thicknesses between early AMD and no AMD for some retinal layers, suggesting these as potential imaging biomarkers. When comparing layer thicknesses between early AMD and no AMD (822 eyes, 449 participants), the retinal pigment epithelium/Bruch’s membrane complex demonstrated a statistically significant thickening, and photoreceptor layers showed a significant thinning.

    • Detection of DR

    The depth and spatially resolved retinal thickness and reflectance measurements are potential biomarkers for the assessment and monitoring of Diabetic Retinopathy, one of the key reasons for blindness around the globe.

    For instance, this study confirmed that decreased RNFL thickness and increased INL/OPL thickness in diabetics without DR or with initial DR suggest early alterations in the inner retina. On the contrary, the outer retina seems not to be affected at the early stages of DM. Automatic intraretinal layering by SD-OCT may be a useful tool to diagnose and monitor early intraretinal changes in DR.

    Conclusion:

    Retina layer segmentation is crucial for the accurate detection of pathologies in the eye, especially in the field of ophthalmology and medical imaging. Here are several reasons why it is important:

    Precise Diagnosis: Retina layer segmentation provides a detailed map of the different retinal layers, which helps in the precise diagnosis of various eye conditions. It allows clinicians to identify the exact location of abnormalities, such as cysts, hemorrhages, or lesions, within the retina.

    Quantitative Analysis: It enables quantitative analysis of retinal structures. By measuring the thickness, volume, and other characteristics of specific layers, clinicians can assess the severity and progression of diseases like diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

    Early Detection: Some retinal pathologies manifest in specific layers of the retina before becoming visible on a fundus photograph. Retina layer segmentation can help detect these changes at an early stage, potentially leading to earlier intervention and improved outcomes.

    Treatment Planning: Knowing the precise location of pathologies within the retina’s layers can aid in the planning of treatment strategies. For example, in cases of macular holes or retinal detachment, surgeons can use this information to guide their procedures.

    Monitoring Disease Progression: Retina layer segmentation is valuable for monitoring how retinal diseases progress over time. Changes in the thickness or integrity of specific layers can be tracked to assess the effectiveness of treatments or the worsening of conditions.

     

  • Altris AI for Buckingham and Hickson Optometry, the UK

    Altris Team
    1 min.

    The Client: Buckingham and Hickson is a family-run optometry practice that was established in 1960 in the United Kingdom. The optometry practice offers a number of services:

    • Wide range of spectacle frames and lenses.
    • Contact lenses.
    • Glaucoma referral refinement.
    • Cataract choice referral.
    • OCT examination.
    • NHS and private eye tests.
    See how it works

    FDA approved AI for OCT scan analysis

    Demo Account Get brochure

     

    The challenge: The optometry owners wanted to test how Artificial Intelligence can assist them in OCT examination or, to be more precise, in providing a second opinion regarding OCT scans.

    OCT examination is one of the best retina diagnostics methods, however in many cases OCT scan interpretation can be really challenging for several reasons:

    1. Variability in Anatomy: There is significant natural anatomical variation among individuals. What may be considered normal for one person may be abnormal for another. Eye care specialists need to account for these variations when interpreting OCT scans, but this often requires years of experience.
    2. Various Eye Conditions: Eye care specialists use OCT scans to diagnose and monitor a wide range of eye conditions, including macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal detachment, among others. Each of these conditions can manifest in different ways on OCT scans, making interpretation challenging.
    3. Progression Monitoring: Ophthalmologists often use OCT to monitor disease progression and the effectiveness of treatment. Tracking subtle changes over time can be difficult, as it requires precise comparisons of multiple scans.
    4. Artifacts: OCT scans are susceptible to artifacts, such as shadowing, motion artifacts, and signal dropout, which can obscure or distort the image. Recognizing and mitigating these artifacts is essential for accurate interpretation.
    5. Experience and Training: Accurate interpretation of OCT scans in optometry and ophthalmology requires specialized training and experience.
    6. Evolving Technology: OCT technology continues to advance, introducing new techniques and capabilities. Staying current with these advancements and understanding their clinical implications is an ongoing challenge for ophthalmologists.

    The solution: Artificial intelligence (AI) can play a significant role in OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) scan interpretation for ophthalmologists and optometrists in various ways. Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides eye care specialists with more accurate results, severity level detection ( to work only with pathological scans), and assists in early pathologies detection.
    According Ian, one of the owners of Buckingham and Hickson optometry, “they are using Altris AI to get a second opinion on OCT scans.”
    According to Altris AI Medical Director, Maria Znamenska, who is MD, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, “It is getting more common to double-check the interpretation of OCT scans ( and other medical images) with modern AI tools as they are getting safer and more efficient. Altris AI has received FDA clearance recently apart from having a CE certificate.”
  • 8 Reasons why Optometry Groups Invest in Artificial Intelligence for OCT Scan Analysis

    Mark Braddon
    5 min.

    Optometry chains offer a wide range of eye care services, making it convenient for patients to access eye care locally. 

    However, the widespread accessibility of optometry chains has a reverse side for them. The shortage of employees, new unfamiliar equipment for diagnostics, and a large number of patients create an extremely challenging workflow for many optometrists. This, in turn, creates a number of challenges that can be more familiar to Optometry chains: low optometrist recruitment and retention, inconsistent quality of examination throughout the practices, lack of communication with patients, etc. 

    Automation of routine processes and digitalization have always served as answers to challenges like these in any industry, and healthcare is no exception. Luckily, automation of one of the most complex tasks for optometrists – OCT examination is already available to optometry chains with Artificial Intelligence (AI).   

    OCT proves to be one of the most efficient diagnostic tools for many modern top-notch optometry practices, however, mastering it requires skills and time. Artificial intelligence tools, such as AI for OCT analysis platform, can automate many routine processes which will have enormous benefits for any optometry chain. The top 8 benefits are the following: 

    • #1 AI for OCT increases clinical efficiencies

    Automating OCT scan analysis through AI reduces the time optometrists spend on image interpretation. This allows optometrists to focus on more complex cases, patient interactions, and personalized treatment plans. For any large optometry chain, saving time means providing more patients with high-quality service. 

    How does it work in practice?

    For instance, Altris AI has a severity grading of b-scans. Severity grading means that it is easy to see if the eye is healthy ​(removing any need to spend time interpreting) or highlight ​where the pathology is and the degree of severity. ​

    • Green- no pathology detected
    • Yellow- mild to medium level of severity
    • Red – severe pathology detected

    • #2 AI for OCT provides consistently high standard of quality throughout the chain

    AI algorithms provide consistent and standardized analysis regardless of the individual interpreting OCT scans. This reduces variability in diagnoses and ensures that patients receive uniform care across different clinics and practitioners within the optometry chain.

    AI algorithms can analyze OCT scans with incredible precision and consistency. They can detect subtle changes in retinal structures that might be missed by human observers, leading to earlier and more accurate diagnoses of various eye conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and more.

    This will help younger less experienced optometrists and will serve as a second opinion tool for more experienced specialists. 

    Test how Altris AI analyzes OCT

    Demo Account Get brochure

    • #3  AI for OCT enables better retention of employees

    The shortage of optometrists in the world is staggering. 14 million optometry specialists are needed worldwide according to the WHO, while today there are only 331K ready to work.

     It is equally difficult to hire and retain a good optometrist for a company in 2023. However, more and more young optometrists choose innovative businesses that use technology to improve the workflow. Top-notch equipment, convenient scheduling tools, and of course, Artificial Intelligence for OCT & fundus photo analysis might be the perks that will help optometrists to choose your optometry business. 

    Fresh from college optometrists feel more confident when they know that they will have a backup when reviewing OCT scans

    • #4 Reduced Workload Burden

    Optometrists often have heavy workloads, and AI can help alleviate some of this burden by handling routine tasks like initial image analysis. This enables optometrists to spend more time on patient consultations and treatment planning.

    According to a survey by the General Optical Council, 57% of optometrists worked beyond their hours in 2022. Optometrists were more likely to be working beyond their hours (60%) or finding it difficult to provide patients with the sufficient level of care they needed (34%) when compared to other registration types.

    It is possible to outsource preliminary image analysis to Artificial Intelligence tools but communication and empathy are human tasks only. 

    • # 5 AI promotes enhanced patient education

    Let’s not forget about the patients. AI-generated OCT reports can help explain complex medical conditions to patients in a more understandable, visual way. After all 80% of all the information we receive is visual: imagine your optometrists not only telling but also showing what is going on with patients.  

    Comprehensive, color-coded OCT reports may improve patient education and engagement, leading to better treatment adherence and loyalty. 

    When patients don’t understand what they are paying for they are not likely to return for annual checkups. At Altris AI we created smart OCT reports that are comprehensible for patients as well as optometrists. We visualize all the pathologies and the patients can trace the dynamics of 

    #6 Reducing a clinical risk. No chances of getting a legal inquiry because of a pathology missed

    Optometry chains can perform around 40K OCT scans a week. Statistically speaking, the chance of missing a minor early pathology is huge simply because of the big number.

    With the double-check that AI for OCT scan analysis provides, It is not possible to wipe the risk out for 100%, but it is possible to diminish the risk to the absolute minimum. 

    For the optometry chain, it might mean no bad PR and weird stories in the papers and subsequently, a better brand image.

    • #7 AI makes early detection of pathologies possible on OCT

    AI algorithms can identify early signs of eye diseases that might not be easily recognizable in their early stage. This early detection can lead to timely interventions, preventing or minimizing patient vision loss.

    Glaucoma, Wet AMD, Diabetic Retinopathy, and genetic diseases are among the pathologies that lead to blindness if not detected in time. Detecting pathological signs and pathologies related to these disorders in time can literally save patients from future blindness.

    Early detection of pathologies means that it is possible to stop or reduce the risk of total blindness which is the best result in any sense. Early detection will allow optometrists to give valid recommendations, and advise on dieting and supplements right at the optical store. 

    • #8 Competitive Edge

    AI is a buzzword, and it’s not accidental. All major players understand its enormous value and invest in it. During the last presentation, the CEO of Google said “AI” 140 times, and let’s be honest, it is not to show off. It is because AI can actually make changes in business: automation of repetitive processes, workflow optimization, and human error reduction. 

    Adopting AI technology for OCT analysis showcases the optometry chain’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements in healthcare. Gaining a real competitive edge is another big goal. 

    This can attract patients who value cutting-edge approaches to diagnosis and treatment. A younger generation of patients are curious about new technologies, and this can be an additional lead magnet for them.

    Conclusion

    Incorporating AI for OCT analysis into optometry chains can enhance patient outcomes, make the workflow more efficient, and improve the performance of each optometry center. However, it’s important to ensure that the AI systems are properly validated, integrated into clinical workflows, and monitored to maintain their accuracy and effectiveness. More than that, it should complement, not replace, the expertise of optometrists. The technology should be used as a tool to aid optometrists and make OCT examination more effective.

     

  • Why Eye Care Specialists Consider Innovative Tools in Addition to Normative Database

    Normative database OCT
    Maria Martynova
    06.09.2023
    6 min read

    The first normative database for OCT was created in the early 2000s and were based on small studies of mostly white patients. However, as OCT technology has evolved, so too have the normative databases. Recent databases are larger and more diverse, reflecting the increasing ethnic and racial diversity of the population.

    FDA-cleared AI for OCT

    Make your eye care business technological

    Demo Account Get brochure

    Nowadays, eye care specialists use normative database to compare the characteristics of a patient to a population-wide norm. This allows them to quickly and easily assess whether a patient’s retinal dimensions fall within normal limits. According to our survey, 79% of eye care specialists rely on the normative databases for OCT verdict with every patient.

    Normative database OCT

    However, despite the fact that normative databases are very widespread among specialists worldwide, they are not perfect. They can be affected by factors such as age, gender, axial length, and refractive error.

    They can be influenced by low image quality due to different eye pathologies. It is essential to be aware of these limitations when interpreting normative data OCT parameters. That is why, in this article, we will discuss the benefits of the collaboration between AI decision-making tools and normative databases to improve patient outcomes.

    What is a normative database, and is there a difference between normative databases for different devices? 

    Before diving into the subject of the benefits and limitations of normative databases, we would like to remind you what a normative database is. From the moment of its invention, the OCT exam has rapidly gained widespread adoption and has become indispensable in the eye care practice. Critical to this success has been the ability of software to automatically produce important measurements, such as the thickness of the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) in tracking glaucoma progression or the total retinal thickness in the assessment of macular diseases. 

    In order to accurately interpret OCT scans, normative databases were created. These databases are now built into almost all commercial OCT devices, allowing eye care specialists to view colored reports and progression maps that assist in the rapid recognition and tracking of pathology.

    Summing up, a normative database for OCT is a set of data that provides references for OCT thickness measurements in a healthy population. These databases are used to compare the OCT measurements of your patient to a population-wide norm. 

    Here are some of the OCT parameters that are commonly measured and compared to normative databases:

    • Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness: the RNFL is a retinal layer that is measured around the optic nerve. This measurement is important for diagnosing optic nerve atrophy.
    • Macular thickness: the macula is responsible for sharp central vision.
    • Ganglion cell complex thickness: the ganglion cell complex is a group of cells in the retina that are responsible for transmitting visual information to the brain.
    • Cup-to-disc ratio, neuroretinal rim, and other optic nerve parameters: are very important for diagnosing glaucoma and other optic nerve pathologies

    These are just a few of the OCT parameters that are commonly measured in normative databases. The specific parameters that are measured can vary depending on the type of OCT device and the clinical application. 

    In addition, different OCT devices can have different measurement capabilities and resolutions. For example, a device that uses time-domain OCT (TD-OCT) technology may have a lower resolution than a device that uses spectral-domain or swept-source OCT (SD or SS-OCT) technology. This means that the normative database for a TD-OCT device may not be as accurate as the normative database for an SD or SS-OCT device.

    What is more, the normative database for a particular device may be based on a specific population of patients. What are the benefits and limitations of normative databases?

    Now that we have highlighted different aspects of the normative database definition let us discuss the benefits and limitations of this tool. Normative databases can sometimes be very helpful for eye care specialists in diagnosis, decision-making, and creating a treatment strategy for eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.

    • The measurement provided by the normative database can be used as a baseline for tracking a patient’s response to medication or other treatment. Eye care specialists can track changes between a few visits and determine the impact on the patient.
    • Normative databases show deviations from the norm, which may be a reason for a more comprehensive examination.
    • Eye care specialists can also use normative databases to compare the results of different OCT devices. This can help to ensure that they are using the most accurate device for their patients.

    There are still challenges that must be overcome to develop normative databases sufficient for use in clinical trials. That is why current normative databases also have a lot of limitations.

    Does not detect pathology

    The normative database works only with the thickness of the retina and does not detect what is inside the retina. Therefore, it cannot detect all pathologies where there is no change in retinal thickness. In the early stages, these are absolutely all diseases. We can see deviations from the normative base only when the disease progresses to a later and more severe stage when the retinal thickness decreases or increases.

    Limited diversity

    Normative databases can be limited by factors like age, gender, and ethnicity of the population used to create them. This can result in reduced accuracy for patients who are not well-represented in the database.

    Population variation

    Even healthy patients can have some anatomical variations that fall within the range of normal. These variations may be falsely flagged as abnormalities when compared to the database.

    How Altris AI platform can complement the information provided by the normative database

    Normative databases in OCT play a crucial role in aiding diagnosis and treatment planning, but they also have limitations related to representation, disease progression, and data quality. Eye care specialists need to interpret the results in the context of the patient’s individual characteristics and other clinical information, using additional tools for scan interpretations.

    Sometimes, low-quality OCT scans can be inaccurately interpreted by the eye care specialist, and the normative database can showcase inaccurate measurements. Altris AI platform detects low-quality scans automatically and warns about the possibility of inaccurate results. In addition, the platform automates the detection of 70+ pathologies and pathological signs. Once the user uploads the scan, they can see visualized and highlighted pathological areas and pathology classification that the algorithm has detected. The user can also calculate the area and volume of detected biomarkers.

    Normative database OCT

    Artificial intelligence-based tools for OCT interpretation used along with normative databases can play a crucial role in clinical eye care. Altris AI, for example, can provide eye care specialists with additional and more precise information about separate retinal layer thickness. The system analyzes the thickness of each retina layer or several layers combined.

    Normative database OCT

    While normative databases provide information only about the thickness, AI tools equipped with deep learning models can detect pathological signs in OCT scans that might be missed by the normative database or the human eye, enhancing diagnostic accuracy. Altris AI algorithm classifies the OCT scans based on the degree of pathology found. It can distinguish green concern, which indicates normal retina, yellow – moderate with slight deviations, and red concern, which means high severity level.

    Normative database OCT

    Summing up

    Despite their limitations, normative databases are an essential tool for the clinical use of OCT. They provide a valuable reference point for assessing patients and can help to identify some diseases. However, the normative database measures only the thickness, which is not enough to accurately diagnose the patient and create a treatment plan.

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    That is why incorporating AI into OCT interpretation streamlines the decision-making process. By automating the initial analysis of OCT scans, specialists can focus their attention on more complex cases, making the best use of their skills and experience. Moreover, embracing AI technologies empowers eye care specialists to personalize patient care with greater precision.

  • AI Blindness Prevention: How We Can Use Artificial Intelligence to Help Prevent Blindness

    AI blindness prevention
    Maria Martynova
    07.08.2023
    9 min read

    The total number of people with near or distant vision impairment reaches 2.2 billion worldwide. Of these, 43 million people are blind, and 295 million are suffering from moderate to severe visual impairment. Although the numbers are constantly changing as new research is conducted, the global burden of blindness and visual impairment remains a significant problem of humanity in the fight against which specialists combine their forces with AI technologies.

    AI blindness prevention

    AI blindness prevention tools are being actively developed to transform the landscape of vision care in many ways. Eye care specialists use AI systems for screening and detecting diseases that lead to vision loss. AI-powered smart monitors assist specialists in finding proper contact lenses and glasses. In addition, many researches are held with the help of AI algorithms, as they are able to process vast amounts of data.

    In this article, we will discuss different applications of AI in blindness prevention, specifically how artificial intelligence tools can empower eye care specialists and extend beyond the clinical setting. 

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    Today’s conditions and risk factors of blindness you should pay attention to

    Before talking about the developments in the AI sector toward blindness prevention, we would like to discuss the most common causes and risk factors of this impairment. Many health and lifestyle factors can influence the risk of vision loss. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, sun exposure, and poor nutrition can contribute to diseases that lead to vision loss. 

    In addition, there are many conditions that can lead to blindness if left with no proper treatment, among which are the following. 

    Age-related eye diseases

    The global population is aging rapidly. The number of people aged 65 and over is projected to triple from 1 billion in 2020 to 2.1 billion in 2050. Considering this fact, age-related eye diseases have become a prominent cause of blindness. Such diseases as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, and glaucoma are more prevalent in older patients, and if left untreated, they can lead to fast and significant vision loss. Regular eye check-ups and timely interventions are crucial in managing these diseases and preventing severe visual impairment.

    AI blindness prevention

    Besides AMD, there are a lot of age-related conditions which can be a red flag when examining the patient. Among these are macular holes, mactel, and vascular diseases, for example,  central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) and central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO). Detecting even one of these pathological conditions in the early stages of their development is crucial for preventing vision loss. 

    However, many eye care specialists sometimes don’t have enough resources to dedicate more time to analyzing patients’ images. Our recent survey detected that among more than 300 participating optometrists, 40% of them have more than 10 OCT exams per day. Meanwhile, 35% of eye care specialists have 5-10 OCT examinations per day. The greater the number of patients per day, the greater the likelihood that eye care specialists may miss some minor, rare, or early conditions.

    AI blindness prevention

    Fortunately, nowadays, there are a lot of ways to empower the clinical workflow, and AI blindness prevention tools are gaining popularity. Artificial intelligence systems like Altris AI can analyze retinal images and other diagnostic data to detect early signs of age-related eye diseases. Altris AI platform, for example, can detect 70+ pathologies and pathological signs, including the ones, that refer to age-related diseases.

    AI blindness prevention

    Altris AI platform allows eye care specialists to rely on its disease classification when diagnosing a patient. It detects all the most common age-related pathologies, such as AMD, mactel, and vascular diseases – CRVO, CRAO.

    AI blindness prevention

    Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy

    Diabetes and related conditions are also common causes of vision loss. In the United States, about 12% of all new cases of blindness are caused due to diabetes. Globally, diabetes is estimated to cause 4.8% of all blindness. In addition, the risk of blindness from diabetes increases with the duration of diabetes. People with untreated diabetes for years are 25 times more likely to be blind than people without diabetes.

    AI blindness prevention

    The complication of diabetes, called Diabetic retinopathy (DR), affects the blood vessels of the retina and can lead to impaired vision or blindness. With the rising prevalence of diabetes worldwide, DR has become a significant problem. Early detection, proper control of diabetes, and regular eye exams are essential to prevent vision loss. 

    The American diabetes association (ADA) recommends that people with diabetes have an OCT scan of their eyes every year. This is because OCT can help to detect early signs of DR with high precision. In some cases, eye care specialists may recommend more frequent OCT scans. This may be the case if the patient has advanced diabetic retinopathy or a family history of diabetic retinopathy.

    AI blindness prevention

    AI algorithms such as Altris AI can assist in detecting the pathological signs of diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular edema. Our web platform differentiates certain pathological signs that indicate diabetes-related diseases. Among these are:

    • Intraretinal fluid
    • Subretinal fluid
    • Hard exudates
    • Hyperreflective foci
    • Epiretinal fibrosis

    Genetic and inherited conditions

    Some patients are at a greater risk of developing visual impairment due to genetic factors or the inheritance of certain conditions. For example, retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited disease that affects the photoreceptor cells in the retina and gradually leads to night blindness and loss of peripheral vision. Genetic testing and counseling can help identify people at risk and provide early intervention.

    AI blindness prevention

    Some genetic eye conditions, such as myopia, vitelliform dystrophy, or retinoschisis, can be detected in the early stages with the help of OCT examination and artificial intelligence systems. Altris AI platform can help eye care specialists in their daily practice and make eye care more accessible, allowing specialists to perform regular eye check-ups, and provide timely treatment of genetic conditions.

    AI blindness prevention

    Current ways to prevent blindness with AI 

    As you can see, blindness risk factors encompass a wide range of conditions, pathologies, and circumstances that can significantly impact a patient’s health and increase the likelihood of severe visual impairment. Poorly managed age-related eye diseases, genetic and hereditary factors, and chronic health conditions can lead to eye-related complications, further elevating the risk of blindness.

    AI blindness prevention

    In the following paragraphs, we will describe in detail the modern ways of using artificial intelligence to detect and prevent blindness: from AI-based retinal imaging for early detection of eye diseases to personalized treatment recommendations and remote patient monitoring.

    AI for image interpretation

    AI blindness prevention

    It is important to understand that the timely detection of eye diseases is key to the effective treatment of visual impairments. However, today we have an unfortunate tendency to diagnose severe forms of disease too late. A large-scale survey by Eyewire conducted in 2021 found that about 40% of people in the USA said they had not had an eye exam in more than a year, and 10% said they had not had one in more than five years. 

    In addition, recent research by the British Journal of Ophthalmology found that 25.3% of people in Europe over the age of 60 have early signs of AMD. In the UK, about 200 people a day are affected by a severe form of AMD (wet AMD), which can cause severe blindness. 

    These studies show us that while eye care specialists around the world are trying to treat as many patients as possible, unfortunately, many patients are going blind due to delays in diagnosis. However, using advanced AI-based image analysis systems can speed up the detection of warning signs, allowing you to reach more patients.

    One of the advantages of AI for image analysis is its assistance in decision-making. Altris AI is a great example of how an image analysis system can help prevent blindness with AI. The platform allows eye care specialists to detect 74 retina pathologies and pathological signs, including risk conditions for vision loss, like AMD, Diabetic retinopathy, Vascular diseases of the retina, and others. 

    Diagnosing eye disease in children

    AI blindness prevention

    Today, one of the most important AI blindness prevention research is focused on teaching artificial intelligence algorithms to detect retinopathy in premature infants. Retinopathy of prematurity is the main cause of childhood blindness in middle-income countries. Some researches show that around 50,000 children all over the world are blind due to the disease.

    Unfortunately, experts’ forecasts show that these figures are likely to grow. Retinopathy of prematurity is becoming more and more common, especially in African countries. About 30% of children born in sub-Saharan Africa have this disease and, due to late detection and insufficient attention due to the lack of eye care specialists, can also go blind.

    An artificial intelligence model developed by an international team of scientists from the UK, Brazil, Egypt, and the US, with support from leading healthcare institutions, is able to identify children who are at risk of blindness if left untreated. The team of scientists hopes that this AI system will make access to screening and monitoring of young patients more affordable in many regions with limited eye care services and few qualified eye care specialists.

    AI monitors for eye strain control

    Another interesting application of AI to prevent blindness is eye care monitors. They are planned to be used to avoid eye strain due to prolonged computer work. Such monitors will be programmed to monitor the user’s facial expressions, blinks, and eye movements. They will also be able to assess the level of light in the room, and artificial intelligence will automatically adjust the screen brightness and image contrast.

    Since a huge number of the world’s population has switched to remote work since the pandemic and spends almost all day at the computer, such AI monitors are considered a huge help for users in preventing eye diseases that can lead to visual impairment.

    AI to determine better glasses or contact lenses

    AI blindness prevention

    In the field of developing and calculating suitable lenses, there are also a number of companies that have joined the development of AI tools. AI monitors will collect important information about the patient’s eye condition, analyze it, and prescribe suitable contact lenses or glasses. 

    In addition, these monitors will be able to analyze the patient’s medical history, including medical images, and create the most suitable treatment strategy to maximize visual acuity.

    AI for studying the human eye

    AI blindness prevention

    Today, AI is a promising tool for studying human eye tissue and developing new tools for diagnosing and treating eye diseases, including those that lead to vision loss. Artificial intelligence tools are used to analyze OCT images of the eye to detect changes that may indicate diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. AI is also used to predict the development of eye diseases based on genetic or risk factors. This is expected to help doctors identify people at risk of developing eye diseases at an early stage and prevent the progression of the disease.

    Summing up

    Today AI blindness prevention tools are already developing by many leading companies and institutions, and some companies, like Altris AI, are already using the potential of artificial intelligence to provide early detection and diagnostic advice for eye care specialists. But it’s worth noting that AI tools are not capable of coming up with innovative solutions for blindness prevention.

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    Only in close cooperation with eye care specialists AI blindness prevention tools can help in many ways, like early detection, providing access to medical care in underserved regions, detecting minor or rare conditions, and allowing to focus on personalized care and treatment of patients.

  • 5 Tips When Introducing the OCT Eye Exam to Patients

    OCT eye exam
    Mark Braddon
    24.07.2023
    8 min read

    As optometry technology evolves, many optometrists predict that utilizing OCT eye exam in practice will be vital in maximizing patient care. That is why successfully integrating an OCT device into your optometry practice workflow is instrumental to its clinical and commercial success.

    Optometrists from different countries often have the same questions about how to successfully integrate an OCT device into an Optometrist Practice, regardless of practice size or experience level. How to make patients feel comfortable? How to explain the importance of regular OCT scans? Will patients understand what is an OCT scan of the eye? How do we avoid patients thinking we want to perform OCT eye exams just to earn more money? The process of introducing OCT to patients is complex and covers many areas. 

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    If we speak to optometry practices, both those who are new to OCT and those who have had the OCT device for many years, most of them will want to improve the ROI and ensure the patients are gaining the full value of the OCT eye test. This article will show you 5 tips for successfully introducing the OCT eye exam to your patients.

    Remember why you invested in the OCT technology

    One may think that only novice optometrists tend to underestimate their work or do not feel confident about the value they give to patients. However, some experienced clinicians also avoid offering OCT eye tests because they think they are ‘overselling’ with additional fees for OCT, Optos, or other diagnostic exams. 

    That is why it is important to remember why you invested in OCT technology in the first place. In almost all cases, this is to improve the clinical standard of eye care that you offer to your patients. In fact, when I ask some optometrists if they want a member of their families to have an OCT eye exam, the answer is always ‘Yes, of course!’. So if you strongly recommend undergoing an examination to your relatives, why would you not recommend an OCT eye test for your patients?

    OCT eye exam

    Before a patient comes into the practice, one of the most important things you need to do is not undervalue your time, skills, and experience when charging for the additional time the OCT exam takes to interpret and discuss. 

    Implementing an OCT eye exam into regular practice improves clinical care and can generate a commercial benefit as well by increasing revenue through fees, patient retention, and loyalty. Moreover, word of mouth is often the most significant source of new patients for optometrists. If the patient feels you are confident in everything you do, it will make them more likely to recommend you to friends and family

    Explain the importance of OCT eye exam for early detection 

    From the first touch point, the patient should understand that your optometric practice takes its business seriously and provides additional diagnostic examinations, such as the OCT, to improve the quality of care. The first impression of your approach is very important, so it is crucial to start introducing the technology to the potential patient from the first point of contact. 

    As a rule, the beginning of a patient’s introduction to the OCT eye exam starts with several touch points. Whether they make their appointment for the eye examination through your website, mobile application, in person, or by phone, the most important thing you can do is create an integrated and comfortable patient journey.

    OCT eye exam

    Before a patient comes into the practice, you should explain the importance of the OCT device and its benefits compared to the standard examination. Even when the patient is fully acquainted with the OCT eye exam, they may still need help understanding why this particular imaging method is necessary. The ability of OCT eye exam to detect diseases in the early stages makes this technology indispensable for optometrists and patients and this is why it is such an excellent tool for diagnosing eye diseases. 

    More importantly, avoid frightening patients with stories about difficult-to-treat rare pathologies. Instead of talking about the pathology consequences, say that the OCT eye exam scan provides a clear map that helps locate areas of the eye with abnormalities or early changes.

    Understand the importance of a healthy-eye-as-a-baseline concept

    In this section, I want to discuss the concept of a healthy eye in more detail. When a patient comes to you for an examination, it is essential to use the correct narrative that the optometrist should use when discussing the results of an OCT eye exam with patients. It is important to emphasize that we are not looking for pathology but a healthy eye.

    We know that we will detect pathology in certain patients. The number of patients likely to have at least one pathology increases if you work with an older population. However, finding a healthy baseline scan is an important part of monitoring the long-term eye health of the patient.

    OCT eye exam

    Talking about baseline, make sure to emphasize how great it is to find a healthy eye in a patient. Explain that together you found a nice, healthy eye so you have the baseline to compare with the patient’s future scans. Emphasize that, hopefully, you will find a healthy eye at the next eye examination, but if anything does start to change, then with the help of an OCT eye exam, you will be able to detect these early and minor changes as you have the healthy baseline scan to compare to.

    It is necessary to develop your patient’s understanding through appropriate teaching and discussion. Giving the value of the baseline OCT eye exam to your patients is very important. Notice the difference between “We found nothing” and “We found a healthy eye”. The first statement is negative and undermines the reason for the scanning of patients for a healthy eye baseline. Meanwhile, the second statement is positive and clearly gives your patient more value as you have found what you are looking for.

    Integrate the OCT eye exam into the patient workflow

    Another one of my recommendations is to call the eye examination that includes the OCT eye exam the Advanced or Comprehensive Eye Examination. It is important to make sure all the staff members use the same terminology and your message to a patient is consistent from first contact to the end of the practice visit. The eye examination without the OCT exam can be called the ‘Standard Examination’ as we are not trying to make the ‘normal’ eye examination appear below standard, what we are trying to do is explain that the practice is invested in the latest technology to offer the most advanced (or comprehensive) examination for your patients benefit.

    OCT eye exam

    For example, when a patient books an appointment, make sure that the support staff uses the same terminology as written throughout the website, reminder letter/email, or mobile app if you have one.  

    When you review the OCT images with the patient, explain that you are going to look at the OCT images of the retina, which is part of the ‘Advanced examination’. When a patient pays at the end of the customer journey, make sure that the ‘Advanced Examination’ is mentioned again. When a patient rings up or books online for the next OCT eye exam, then they will understand what the ‘Advanced examination’  means and are more likely to select this option straight away for future examinations.

    Concentrate on giving more value to your patients

    Review the results with the patient to give them the actual value of an OCT scan. This will allow you to establish communication with the patient and improve their perception. Give them the “theatre” around the additional diagnostic testing so they understand how it applies to them and feel valued.

    OCT eye exam

    Remember that your knowledge, enthusiasm, and the extent to which the patient is involved in the process directly affect the clinical and commercial success. Dedicate time to each patient, involve them in the diagnostic process, and explain the OCT scans of their eyes on the screen.

    How can Altris AI help with introducing OCT Eye Exam

    OCT eye test

    When talking about improving the clinical standard of care your practice offers to your patients, the Altris AI platform can also improve the standard of care you offer to your patients. The platform helps to quickly determine if the eye is healthy. If pathology is detected, then Altris AI identifies the very early, rare, or minor changes that can be the start of something more severe. Altris AI detects over 70 pathologies and pathological signs. If early pathology is identified, then the Altris AI platform can help educate the patient by clearly highlighting the areas of concern and then giving you the opportunity to discuss lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medications, or supplements, which may help the patient now rather than just monitoring until it is time to refer. 

    The Altris AI platform can improve the patient’s understanding of the OCT exam and add value to the Advanced Eye Examination.

    OCT eye test

    All you need to do is to upload an OCT macula exam to the platform and Altris AI will assess the exam by severity differentiating the b-scans between high, medium, and low severity levels.  The segmentation/classification module will highlight pathological signs on the OCT scan one by one and give the classification/s of any pathology found to support you with the diagnosis. Meanwhile, in the Comparison module of the platform, you are able to compare the baseline scan with the current one. 

    Summing Up

    Remember why you invested in the OCT technology in the first place — usually, this is to improve the clinical standard of care you can offer to your patients. The improvement in clinical care can also generate a commercial benefit as well by increasing revenue through OCT exam fees, patient satisfaction, patient retention and loyalty, and an increase in recommendations of friends and family. 

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    Build a patient journey in such a way that, at each stage, they know that they have received a new, exciting, and, important part for the most comprehensive examination you offer. Remember that the more skill and enthusiasm you show, the more you can interest the patient and increase the probability that they will return for their next examination with OCT.

    In addition, consider using modern AI tools to help you with decision-making. Image management systems like Altris AI can help you interpret the OCT scans faster and with more confidence. This will leave more time to add value for your patient, and integrating AI into practice can be another example of how you are investing in the latest technology to benefit your patients.

  • Business Case: Lux Zir Ophthalmic Clinic

    Altris Team
    11.07.2023
    2 min read

    The Client: Lux Zir is one of the best-known ophthalmic clinics in Ukraine which provides retina diagnostics and eye treatment services. The clinic currently employs 3 full-time eye practitioners 2 general ophthalmologists and a pediatric retina expert.

    The clinic normally sees between 15-20 per day with up to 10 OCT examinations performed.

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    The Problem:

    Luxzir uses Optical Coherence Tomography as one of its core diagnostic methods because of its high level of accuracy and non-invasiveness. However, the clinic needed to solve several typical problems related to OCT.

    • Some ECPs have less experience with OCT interpretation than others and this creates an inconsistent standard of care throughout the clinic.
    • Some ophthalmologists come across complex OCT scans that they are unable to interpret without the help of their more experienced colleagues.
    • It is difficult to maintain a high standard of care for diagnostics when the CMO is absent during the period of vacation or sick leave.
    • Take out wrong and start with an inaccurate diagnosis on the basis of OCT of the patients who are referred to the clinic from other eye care centers. 

    The Solution:

    Lux Zir Ophthalmic Clinic decided to implement the Altris AI platform as they understood how it can help resolve their problems. The results have been very positive with improvements with all issues above problems, and received very positive results.

    According to Marta Shchur, Chief Medical Officer at Lux Zir clinic, the implementation of the Altris AI system improved the level of OCT diagnostics inside the clinic or if to be precise:

    • OCT interpretation is now considerably faster allowing the ECPs to see 10% more patients per day.
    • OCT diagnostics has become much more efficient: supported by Altris AI, ophthalmologists now have confidence when diagnosing pathologies and pathological signs, even rare ones.
    • The quality of diagnostics is consistent regardless of the experience of the specialists.
  • Business Case: Altris AI for Jeff Sciberras Optometry

    Altris AI Team
    10.07.2023
    1 min read

    The Client: Canadian Optometry Clinic

    Jeff Sciberras Optometry Clinic is an established eye care facility in Mississauga, Canada. They have been recognized as the Top Choice Optometry Clinic for the past five years running in this large Canadian city. Dr. Jeff Sciberras is proud of his high patient satisfaction rate: 92% of those surveyed would refer a friend, colleague, or family member to this establishment.

    Dr. Sciberras aims to provide comprehensive eye care, with a desire to utilize leading technologies and the delivery of premium eye care products.

    Recent technology investments include OCT, which allows earlier diagnosis and greater in-house management capabilities.

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    The Challenge:

    The optometry clinic has just purchased a brand new Optopol Revo OCT equipment and the support was needed in OCT scan interpretation. OCT is one of the most accurate methods of retina diagnostics  however, the interpretation of OCT scans can be challenging and time-consuming,  for both doctor and patient.

    The Result:

    Dr. Sciberras has been extremely satisfied with the support that the Altris AI platform provides:

    • Increased confidence when working with the new OCT device · more profound analysis of OCT scans
    • More adequate referral of complex cases.
    • Scan summaries for the patient.
    • Earning patient confidence and trust: The image of the innovative optometry center is enhanced to their patients and families.
    • The AI Segmentation/Classification Module is invaluable for the optometry center as this module helps in the identification of 70+ pathologies and pathological signs.

    The introduction of OCT with Altris AI has transformed my practice literally overnight. The integration was seamless and Altris customer support has been outstanding.

    Overall, Dr. Sciberras has been impressed with the experience and support Altris AI provides and is happy to have chosen to partner with them for his leading eye care center.

  • DICOM File Format: Benefits of Managing DICOM images

    DICOM file format
    Mark Braddon
    31.05.2023
    6 min read

    DICOM file format (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) was developed by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) as a standard for exchanging medical images and related information across different healthcare systems. It serves as a universal language for medical imaging, enabling interoperability between various imaging devices and systems. DICOM ensures that medical images can be exchanged and viewed consistently regardless of the manufacturer or modality.

    DICOM image format supports a broad range of medical imaging modalities, including X-ray, MRI, OCT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and more. It also covers related data, such as patient information, study details, image annotations, and results.

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    As the DICOM format continues to evolve to keep up with advancements in medical imaging technology, our article aims to raise awareness among ophthalmologists and optometrists about the DICOM file format.

    You can also watch a short video about DICOM and non-DICOM file formats.

    What is DICOM file format?

    Image files that adhere to part 10 of the DICOM standard are commonly known as “DICOM format files” or simply “DICOM files,” and their file extension is “.dcm.” In ophthalmology, DICOM is a widely used file format for storing and transmitting medical images. DICOM files are used to store various types of ophthalmic images as well, including retinal images, optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans, visual field tests, and angiography images.

    DICOM files consist of two main components: the header and the image data. The header contains metadata that describes the patient, study, series, and image acquisition parameters.

    DICOM image format

    This metadata includes information such as patient demographics, image acquisition parameters (e.g., imaging modality, image orientation, pixel spacing), and any annotations or measurements made on the image. The image data itself is typically stored in a compressed format, such as JPEG or JPEG 2000, within the DICOM file.

    DICOM files also support the exchange of images and associated data between different medical imaging devices and systems. This enables eye care specialists to easily share and access ophthalmic images across different platforms, such as picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), ophthalmic imaging devices, and electronic health record (EHR) systems.

    By using DICOM, ophthalmologists and optometrists can efficiently store, retrieve, and analyze ophthalmic images, ensuring accurate diagnoses and effective patient care. In the next paragraphs, we will tell you more about the benefits of the DICOM file format for eye care specialists.

     

    Benefits of DICOM file format

    The DICOM standard ensures interoperability between different vendors’ OCT devices and facilitates seamless data sharing and analysis. The main difference between DICOM and other image formats is that it groups information into data sets. A DICOM file consists of several tags, all packed into a single file. It stores such info as:

    • demographic details about the patient
    • imaging study’s acquisition parameters
    • image dimensions
    • matrix size
    • color space
    • an array of additional non-intensity information necessary for accurate image display by computers.

    If you have to enter the patient’s information manually, there’s always a chance you can misspell the name or other information. However, when using a DICOM file to store patients’ information and monitor patients’ health, eye care specialists can be sure the chance of human bias is much lower.

    When you work in an optometry practice or a clinic, you may spend a lot of time filling in the details every time you upload a file. And if your clinic is busy and you do 30-50 uploads daily, it could take hours. Using DICOM image format significantly speeds up the process and reduces errors.   

    DICOM file format

    Another benefit of the DICOM image format is that the header data information is encoded within the file so that it cannot be accidentally separated from the image data. 

    DICOM files can be stored in a DICOM server or transmitted between DICOM-compliant systems using the DICOM network protocol (DICOM C-STORE or DICOMweb). DICOM SR (structure reporting) allows for the structured representation of measurement data and annotations in OCT images. It enables the storage of quantitative measurements, such as retinal thickness or optic nerve parameters, as structured data within the DICOM file.

    In addition, eye care specialists are able to manipulate the brightness of the image when using the DICOM viewing software. Some areas of an image can be increased or decreased for a better viewing and diagnostic experience.

    Is DICOM file format popular among OCT providers?

    When it comes to optical coherence tomography, many OCT device manufacturers and software providers support the DICOM standard for storing and exchanging OCT images. Some of the prominent OCT providers that offer DICOM support include:

    • Heidelberg Engineering is a well-known provider of OCT devices and software solutions for ophthalmology. They offer OCT devices like the Spectralis OCT, which supports DICOM connectivity. The DICOM capabilities of their systems enable seamless integration with PACS and other healthcare systems.
    • Carl Zeiss Meditec is a leading manufacturer of ophthalmic devices, including OCT systems. Their OCT devices, such as the Cirrus OCT, are DICOM-compatible, allowing for efficient storage and sharing of OCT images with other DICOM-compliant systems.
    • Topcon Medical Systems is another prominent provider of OCT devices. Their OCT systems, such as the Topcon 3D OCT, support DICOM connectivity, enabling interoperability with other DICOM-enabled devices and systems.
    • NIDEK offers a range of ophthalmic imaging devices, including OCT systems. Their OCT platforms, such as the NIDEK RS-3000, support DICOM, allowing for seamless integration with DICOM-compliant infrastructure, such as PACS and EHR systems.
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    These are just a few examples of OCT providers that support the DICOM standard. It’s important to note that DICOM support may vary among different models and versions of OCT devices from each manufacturer. We recommend you consult with the specific manufacturer or review their product documentation to confirm the DICOM capabilities of their OCT systems.

    Why do we recommend using DICOM file format with Altris AI?

    Modern DICOM viewer software extends beyond simple viewing. It can enhance image quality, generate additional data, take measurements, and more, and Altris AI is no exception. Using the DICOM image file gives you more opportunities within the platform.

    Such features as

    • retina layers thickness and linear measurements

    DICOM file format

    • area and volume calculations

    DICOM file format

    are only available when using the DICOM file format. This is because it contains the original image pixel data without modifying the study metadata. In case you upload an image, retina layers thickness won’t be available, as well as the measurements.

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    Another advantage of the DICOM format is that you can add patient and examination details in a few clicks by just uploading a DICOM file since this information is being pulled out automatically. 

    DICOM file format

    In the case of other image formats, when uploading an examination, you would have to manually fill in a bunch of information such as scan widths, eye type, etc.

    Considering all mentioned above, using DICOM format files saves time, increases efficiency, and gives you more opportunities within the Altris AI platform.

    Summing up

    In conclusion, the DICOM file format proves to be a valuable asset for eye care specialists. Its unique characteristics, such as grouping information into data sets and incorporating standardized tags within a single file, offer many advantages. 

    This format ensures the preservation of accurate and comprehensive data, reducing the potential for human error and minimizing the risk of data loss or misinterpretation. The DICOM file format streamlines the archival, organization, and display of images, optimizing the workflow of eye care specialists. 

    By adhering to the DICOM standard, OCT devices and software solutions ensure compatibility, interoperability, and consistent data representation across different platforms. This enables efficient communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals, enhances research capabilities, and promotes the broader use and exchange of OCT imaging data.

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    With its widespread adoption and compatibility with various medical imaging systems, DICOM empowers ophthalmologists and optometrists to provide efficient and high-quality care while promoting seamless collaboration and knowledge sharing within the field. Ultimately, the DICOM file format plays a vital role in enhancing patient care, advancing research, and fostering innovation in the field of eye care.

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  • OCT eye exam

    5 Tips When Introducing the OCT Eye Exam to Patients

    Mark Braddon
    24.07.2023
    8 min read

    As optometry technology evolves, many optometrists predict that utilizing OCT eye exam in practice will be vital in maximizing patient care. That is why successfully integrating an OCT device into your optometry practice workflow is instrumental to its clinical and commercial success.

    Optometrists from different countries often have the same questions about how to successfully integrate an OCT device into an Optometrist Practice, regardless of practice size or experience level. How to make patients feel comfortable? How to explain the importance of regular OCT scans? Will patients understand what is an OCT scan of the eye? How do we avoid patients thinking we want to perform OCT eye exams just to earn more money? The process of introducing OCT to patients is complex and covers many areas. 

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    If we speak to optometry practices, both those who are new to OCT and those who have had the OCT device for many years, most of them will want to improve the ROI and ensure the patients are gaining the full value of the OCT eye test. This article will show you 5 tips for successfully introducing the OCT eye exam to your patients.

    Remember why you invested in the OCT technology

    One may think that only novice optometrists tend to underestimate their work or do not feel confident about the value they give to patients. However, some experienced clinicians also avoid offering OCT eye tests because they think they are ‘overselling’ with additional fees for OCT, Optos, or other diagnostic exams. 

    That is why it is important to remember why you invested in OCT technology in the first place. In almost all cases, this is to improve the clinical standard of eye care that you offer to your patients. In fact, when I ask some optometrists if they want a member of their families to have an OCT eye exam, the answer is always ‘Yes, of course!’. So if you strongly recommend undergoing an examination to your relatives, why would you not recommend an OCT eye test for your patients?

    OCT eye exam

    Before a patient comes into the practice, one of the most important things you need to do is not undervalue your time, skills, and experience when charging for the additional time the OCT exam takes to interpret and discuss. 

    Implementing an OCT eye exam into regular practice improves clinical care and can generate a commercial benefit as well by increasing revenue through fees, patient retention, and loyalty. Moreover, word of mouth is often the most significant source of new patients for optometrists. If the patient feels you are confident in everything you do, it will make them more likely to recommend you to friends and family

    Explain the importance of OCT eye exam for early detection 

    From the first touch point, the patient should understand that your optometric practice takes its business seriously and provides additional diagnostic examinations, such as the OCT, to improve the quality of care. The first impression of your approach is very important, so it is crucial to start introducing the technology to the potential patient from the first point of contact. 

    As a rule, the beginning of a patient’s introduction to the OCT eye exam starts with several touch points. Whether they make their appointment for the eye examination through your website, mobile application, in person, or by phone, the most important thing you can do is create an integrated and comfortable patient journey.

    OCT eye exam

    Before a patient comes into the practice, you should explain the importance of the OCT device and its benefits compared to the standard examination. Even when the patient is fully acquainted with the OCT eye exam, they may still need help understanding why this particular imaging method is necessary. The ability of OCT eye exam to detect diseases in the early stages makes this technology indispensable for optometrists and patients and this is why it is such an excellent tool for diagnosing eye diseases. 

    More importantly, avoid frightening patients with stories about difficult-to-treat rare pathologies. Instead of talking about the pathology consequences, say that the OCT eye exam scan provides a clear map that helps locate areas of the eye with abnormalities or early changes.

    Understand the importance of a healthy-eye-as-a-baseline concept

    In this section, I want to discuss the concept of a healthy eye in more detail. When a patient comes to you for an examination, it is essential to use the correct narrative that the optometrist should use when discussing the results of an OCT eye exam with patients. It is important to emphasize that we are not looking for pathology but a healthy eye.

    We know that we will detect pathology in certain patients. The number of patients likely to have at least one pathology increases if you work with an older population. However, finding a healthy baseline scan is an important part of monitoring the long-term eye health of the patient.

    OCT eye exam

    Talking about baseline, make sure to emphasize how great it is to find a healthy eye in a patient. Explain that together you found a nice, healthy eye so you have the baseline to compare with the patient’s future scans. Emphasize that, hopefully, you will find a healthy eye at the next eye examination, but if anything does start to change, then with the help of an OCT eye exam, you will be able to detect these early and minor changes as you have the healthy baseline scan to compare to.

    It is necessary to develop your patient’s understanding through appropriate teaching and discussion. Giving the value of the baseline OCT eye exam to your patients is very important. Notice the difference between “We found nothing” and “We found a healthy eye”. The first statement is negative and undermines the reason for the scanning of patients for a healthy eye baseline. Meanwhile, the second statement is positive and clearly gives your patient more value as you have found what you are looking for.

    Integrate the OCT eye exam into the patient workflow

    Another one of my recommendations is to call the eye examination that includes the OCT eye exam the Advanced or Comprehensive Eye Examination. It is important to make sure all the staff members use the same terminology and your message to a patient is consistent from first contact to the end of the practice visit. The eye examination without the OCT exam can be called the ‘Standard Examination’ as we are not trying to make the ‘normal’ eye examination appear below standard, what we are trying to do is explain that the practice is invested in the latest technology to offer the most advanced (or comprehensive) examination for your patients benefit.

    OCT eye exam

    For example, when a patient books an appointment, make sure that the support staff uses the same terminology as written throughout the website, reminder letter/email, or mobile app if you have one.  

    When you review the OCT images with the patient, explain that you are going to look at the OCT images of the retina, which is part of the ‘Advanced examination’. When a patient pays at the end of the customer journey, make sure that the ‘Advanced Examination’ is mentioned again. When a patient rings up or books online for the next OCT eye exam, then they will understand what the ‘Advanced examination’  means and are more likely to select this option straight away for future examinations.

    Concentrate on giving more value to your patients

    Review the results with the patient to give them the actual value of an OCT scan. This will allow you to establish communication with the patient and improve their perception. Give them the “theatre” around the additional diagnostic testing so they understand how it applies to them and feel valued.

    OCT eye exam

    Remember that your knowledge, enthusiasm, and the extent to which the patient is involved in the process directly affect the clinical and commercial success. Dedicate time to each patient, involve them in the diagnostic process, and explain the OCT scans of their eyes on the screen.

    How can Altris AI help with introducing OCT Eye Exam

    OCT eye test

    When talking about improving the clinical standard of care your practice offers to your patients, the Altris AI platform can also improve the standard of care you offer to your patients. The platform helps to quickly determine if the eye is healthy. If pathology is detected, then Altris AI identifies the very early, rare, or minor changes that can be the start of something more severe. Altris AI detects over 70 pathologies and pathological signs. If early pathology is identified, then the Altris AI platform can help educate the patient by clearly highlighting the areas of concern and then giving you the opportunity to discuss lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medications, or supplements, which may help the patient now rather than just monitoring until it is time to refer. 

    The Altris AI platform can improve the patient’s understanding of the OCT exam and add value to the Advanced Eye Examination.

    OCT eye test

    All you need to do is to upload an OCT macula exam to the platform and Altris AI will assess the exam by severity differentiating the b-scans between high, medium, and low severity levels.  The segmentation/classification module will highlight pathological signs on the OCT scan one by one and give the classification/s of any pathology found to support you with the diagnosis. Meanwhile, in the Comparison module of the platform, you are able to compare the baseline scan with the current one. 

    Summing Up

    Remember why you invested in the OCT technology in the first place — usually, this is to improve the clinical standard of care you can offer to your patients. The improvement in clinical care can also generate a commercial benefit as well by increasing revenue through OCT exam fees, patient satisfaction, patient retention and loyalty, and an increase in recommendations of friends and family. 

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    Build a patient journey in such a way that, at each stage, they know that they have received a new, exciting, and, important part for the most comprehensive examination you offer. Remember that the more skill and enthusiasm you show, the more you can interest the patient and increase the probability that they will return for their next examination with OCT.

    In addition, consider using modern AI tools to help you with decision-making. Image management systems like Altris AI can help you interpret the OCT scans faster and with more confidence. This will leave more time to add value for your patient, and integrating AI into practice can be another example of how you are investing in the latest technology to benefit your patients.

  • Business Case: Lux Zir Ophthalmic Clinic

    Altris Team
    11.07.2023
    2 min read

    The Client: Lux Zir is one of the best-known ophthalmic clinics in Ukraine which provides retina diagnostics and eye treatment services. The clinic currently employs 3 full-time eye practitioners 2 general ophthalmologists and a pediatric retina expert.

    The clinic normally sees between 15-20 per day with up to 10 OCT examinations performed.

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    The Problem:

    Luxzir uses Optical Coherence Tomography as one of its core diagnostic methods because of its high level of accuracy and non-invasiveness. However, the clinic needed to solve several typical problems related to OCT.

    • Some ECPs have less experience with OCT interpretation than others and this creates an inconsistent standard of care throughout the clinic.
    • Some ophthalmologists come across complex OCT scans that they are unable to interpret without the help of their more experienced colleagues.
    • It is difficult to maintain a high standard of care for diagnostics when the CMO is absent during the period of vacation or sick leave.
    • Take out wrong and start with an inaccurate diagnosis on the basis of OCT of the patients who are referred to the clinic from other eye care centers. 

    The Solution:

    Lux Zir Ophthalmic Clinic decided to implement the Altris AI platform as they understood how it can help resolve their problems. The results have been very positive with improvements with all issues above problems, and received very positive results.

    According to Marta Shchur, Chief Medical Officer at Lux Zir clinic, the implementation of the Altris AI system improved the level of OCT diagnostics inside the clinic or if to be precise:

    • OCT interpretation is now considerably faster allowing the ECPs to see 10% more patients per day.
    • OCT diagnostics has become much more efficient: supported by Altris AI, ophthalmologists now have confidence when diagnosing pathologies and pathological signs, even rare ones.
    • The quality of diagnostics is consistent regardless of the experience of the specialists.
  • Business Case: Altris AI for Jeff Sciberras Optometry

    Altris AI Team
    10.07.2023
    1 min read

    The Client: Canadian Optometry Clinic

    Jeff Sciberras Optometry Clinic is an established eye care facility in Mississauga, Canada. They have been recognized as the Top Choice Optometry Clinic for the past five years running in this large Canadian city. Dr. Jeff Sciberras is proud of his high patient satisfaction rate: 92% of those surveyed would refer a friend, colleague, or family member to this establishment.

    Dr. Sciberras aims to provide comprehensive eye care, with a desire to utilize leading technologies and the delivery of premium eye care products.

    Recent technology investments include OCT, which allows earlier diagnosis and greater in-house management capabilities.

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    The Challenge:

    The optometry clinic has just purchased a brand new Optopol Revo OCT equipment and the support was needed in OCT scan interpretation. OCT is one of the most accurate methods of retina diagnostics  however, the interpretation of OCT scans can be challenging and time-consuming,  for both doctor and patient.

    The Result:

    Dr. Sciberras has been extremely satisfied with the support that the Altris AI platform provides:

    • Increased confidence when working with the new OCT device · more profound analysis of OCT scans
    • More adequate referral of complex cases.
    • Scan summaries for the patient.
    • Earning patient confidence and trust: The image of the innovative optometry center is enhanced to their patients and families.
    • The AI Segmentation/Classification Module is invaluable for the optometry center as this module helps in the identification of 70+ pathologies and pathological signs.

    The introduction of OCT with Altris AI has transformed my practice literally overnight. The integration was seamless and Altris customer support has been outstanding.

    Overall, Dr. Sciberras has been impressed with the experience and support Altris AI provides and is happy to have chosen to partner with them for his leading eye care center.

  • DICOM file format

    DICOM File Format: Benefits of Managing DICOM images

    Mark Braddon
    31.05.2023
    6 min read

    DICOM file format (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) was developed by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) as a standard for exchanging medical images and related information across different healthcare systems. It serves as a universal language for medical imaging, enabling interoperability between various imaging devices and systems. DICOM ensures that medical images can be exchanged and viewed consistently regardless of the manufacturer or modality.

    DICOM image format supports a broad range of medical imaging modalities, including X-ray, MRI, OCT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and more. It also covers related data, such as patient information, study details, image annotations, and results.

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    As the DICOM format continues to evolve to keep up with advancements in medical imaging technology, our article aims to raise awareness among ophthalmologists and optometrists about the DICOM file format.

    You can also watch a short video about DICOM and non-DICOM file formats.

    What is DICOM file format?

    Image files that adhere to part 10 of the DICOM standard are commonly known as “DICOM format files” or simply “DICOM files,” and their file extension is “.dcm.” In ophthalmology, DICOM is a widely used file format for storing and transmitting medical images. DICOM files are used to store various types of ophthalmic images as well, including retinal images, optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans, visual field tests, and angiography images.

    DICOM files consist of two main components: the header and the image data. The header contains metadata that describes the patient, study, series, and image acquisition parameters.

    DICOM image format

    This metadata includes information such as patient demographics, image acquisition parameters (e.g., imaging modality, image orientation, pixel spacing), and any annotations or measurements made on the image. The image data itself is typically stored in a compressed format, such as JPEG or JPEG 2000, within the DICOM file.

    DICOM files also support the exchange of images and associated data between different medical imaging devices and systems. This enables eye care specialists to easily share and access ophthalmic images across different platforms, such as picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), ophthalmic imaging devices, and electronic health record (EHR) systems.

    By using DICOM, ophthalmologists and optometrists can efficiently store, retrieve, and analyze ophthalmic images, ensuring accurate diagnoses and effective patient care. In the next paragraphs, we will tell you more about the benefits of the DICOM file format for eye care specialists.

     

    Benefits of DICOM file format

    The DICOM standard ensures interoperability between different vendors’ OCT devices and facilitates seamless data sharing and analysis. The main difference between DICOM and other image formats is that it groups information into data sets. A DICOM file consists of several tags, all packed into a single file. It stores such info as:

    • demographic details about the patient
    • imaging study’s acquisition parameters
    • image dimensions
    • matrix size
    • color space
    • an array of additional non-intensity information necessary for accurate image display by computers.

    If you have to enter the patient’s information manually, there’s always a chance you can misspell the name or other information. However, when using a DICOM file to store patients’ information and monitor patients’ health, eye care specialists can be sure the chance of human bias is much lower.

    When you work in an optometry practice or a clinic, you may spend a lot of time filling in the details every time you upload a file. And if your clinic is busy and you do 30-50 uploads daily, it could take hours. Using DICOM image format significantly speeds up the process and reduces errors.   

    DICOM file format

    Another benefit of the DICOM image format is that the header data information is encoded within the file so that it cannot be accidentally separated from the image data. 

    DICOM files can be stored in a DICOM server or transmitted between DICOM-compliant systems using the DICOM network protocol (DICOM C-STORE or DICOMweb). DICOM SR (structure reporting) allows for the structured representation of measurement data and annotations in OCT images. It enables the storage of quantitative measurements, such as retinal thickness or optic nerve parameters, as structured data within the DICOM file.

    In addition, eye care specialists are able to manipulate the brightness of the image when using the DICOM viewing software. Some areas of an image can be increased or decreased for a better viewing and diagnostic experience.

    Is DICOM file format popular among OCT providers?

    When it comes to optical coherence tomography, many OCT device manufacturers and software providers support the DICOM standard for storing and exchanging OCT images. Some of the prominent OCT providers that offer DICOM support include:

    • Heidelberg Engineering is a well-known provider of OCT devices and software solutions for ophthalmology. They offer OCT devices like the Spectralis OCT, which supports DICOM connectivity. The DICOM capabilities of their systems enable seamless integration with PACS and other healthcare systems.
    • Carl Zeiss Meditec is a leading manufacturer of ophthalmic devices, including OCT systems. Their OCT devices, such as the Cirrus OCT, are DICOM-compatible, allowing for efficient storage and sharing of OCT images with other DICOM-compliant systems.
    • Topcon Medical Systems is another prominent provider of OCT devices. Their OCT systems, such as the Topcon 3D OCT, support DICOM connectivity, enabling interoperability with other DICOM-enabled devices and systems.
    • NIDEK offers a range of ophthalmic imaging devices, including OCT systems. Their OCT platforms, such as the NIDEK RS-3000, support DICOM, allowing for seamless integration with DICOM-compliant infrastructure, such as PACS and EHR systems.
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    These are just a few examples of OCT providers that support the DICOM standard. It’s important to note that DICOM support may vary among different models and versions of OCT devices from each manufacturer. We recommend you consult with the specific manufacturer or review their product documentation to confirm the DICOM capabilities of their OCT systems.

    Why do we recommend using DICOM file format with Altris AI?

    Modern DICOM viewer software extends beyond simple viewing. It can enhance image quality, generate additional data, take measurements, and more, and Altris AI is no exception. Using the DICOM image file gives you more opportunities within the platform.

    Such features as

    • retina layers thickness and linear measurements

    DICOM file format

    • area and volume calculations

    DICOM file format

    are only available when using the DICOM file format. This is because it contains the original image pixel data without modifying the study metadata. In case you upload an image, retina layers thickness won’t be available, as well as the measurements.

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    Another advantage of the DICOM format is that you can add patient and examination details in a few clicks by just uploading a DICOM file since this information is being pulled out automatically. 

    DICOM file format

    In the case of other image formats, when uploading an examination, you would have to manually fill in a bunch of information such as scan widths, eye type, etc.

    Considering all mentioned above, using DICOM format files saves time, increases efficiency, and gives you more opportunities within the Altris AI platform.

    Summing up

    In conclusion, the DICOM file format proves to be a valuable asset for eye care specialists. Its unique characteristics, such as grouping information into data sets and incorporating standardized tags within a single file, offer many advantages. 

    This format ensures the preservation of accurate and comprehensive data, reducing the potential for human error and minimizing the risk of data loss or misinterpretation. The DICOM file format streamlines the archival, organization, and display of images, optimizing the workflow of eye care specialists. 

    By adhering to the DICOM standard, OCT devices and software solutions ensure compatibility, interoperability, and consistent data representation across different platforms. This enables efficient communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals, enhances research capabilities, and promotes the broader use and exchange of OCT imaging data.

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    With its widespread adoption and compatibility with various medical imaging systems, DICOM empowers ophthalmologists and optometrists to provide efficient and high-quality care while promoting seamless collaboration and knowledge sharing within the field. Ultimately, the DICOM file format plays a vital role in enhancing patient care, advancing research, and fostering innovation in the field of eye care.

  • innovations in eye care

    How 7 Leading Optometry Centers Provide Innovations in Eye Care

    Maria Martynova
    08.05.2023
    9 min read

    Top modern optometry centers are not afraid of embracing innovations in eye care. Some offer home eye tests, others create mobile apps to try on frames remotely. There are optometry centers that use artificial intelligence to empower optometrists in OCT/ fundus interpretation. We’ve collected 7 optometry centers that are using technology now to win the competition. 

    From advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies to personalized care and patient education, these centers are transforming the way clients approach and bring innovations in eye care. 

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    Optometry meets technology: AI, AR, mobile apps, and home eye tests

    Augmented Reality (AR), mobile apps, and home eye tests are emerging trends that are changing the way people receive eye care.

    • AR technology uses the camera lens on a mobile device or your PC as the method to deliver information and graphics. A user accesses an AR application, and the camera viewpoint incorporates the data directly into the perspective in real time. With AR apps for eyewear and exams, anyone can have a large selection of glasses and other services from their homes, offices, or on the go.
    • Mobile apps offer a wide range of eye care services, from information on eye health and tips for maintaining healthy vision to virtual vision screenings. Moreover, mobile apps are also used to educate both young and experienced optometrists. We strongly believe that educational mobile apps inevitably become an additional efficient tool for OCT education because they are accessible and interactive. 
    • Another one of the innovations in eye care is Home eye tests are also often enabled by digital vision testing tools. They are becoming more and more common and offer a convenient and cost-effective way to monitor vision changes.
    • As for AI use in optometry practice, it allows its users to see a broader perspective of a patient’s eye health. Incorporating AI streamlines billing procedures, expands the input of electronic health records (EHRs), optimizes claims management, and improves cash flow. AI technology can also be used in cooperation with AR assisting in the glasses selection.

    Although these innovations in optometry and ophthalmology provide more comprehensive access to eye care and improve patient engagement, many optometry practices are still hesitating to add such innovations to their routine. That is why we prepared the info about 7 famous optometry practices that are already using innovations in eye care.

    Warby Parker

    innovations in eye care

    Warby Parker started its way in 2010 when the founders of the company were students. One of them lost his glasses during a tourist trip. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent his first semester of graduate school without them. That is why the company’s mission is to provide affordable, high-quality eyewear to consumers, while also addressing the issue of access to vision care. 

    One of Warby Parker’s unique innovations in eye care is its Home Virtual Try-On program, which allows customers to try on up to five frames at home for free before making a purchase. This program makes it easier for customers to find the perfect pair of glasses and eliminates the need for them to go to a physical store to try on frames.

    innovations in eye care

    Warby Parker also offers an online eye exam called the Virtual Vision Test. It is designed to provide customers with a convenient and affordable way to obtain a prescription for glasses or contacts from the comfort of their own homes.

    The Virtual Vision Test is a telemedicine service that uses technology to allow customers to take an eye exam using their computer or smartphone. The test is not meant to replace a comprehensive eye exam performed by an eye doctor, but rather to provide a convenient option for those who need a prescription renewal or have mild refractive errors. 

    After completing the test, the results are reviewed by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist, who will issue a prescription if appropriate. The customer can then use the prescription to purchase glasses or contacts from Warby Parker or any other provider.

    Lenskart

    innovations in eye care

    Lenskart is a fast-growing company of innovations in eye care in India focused on making eyewear more affordable for everyone. To achieve this goal, the company has developed a number of innovative technologies and business models, including a mobile app that allows customers to try on frames virtually and a home vision testing service that allows to check their prescriptions from the comfort of their own home.

    One special feature of the Lenskart app is the “3D Try-On” feature, which uses 3D imaging technology to create a model of the customer’s face and allows them to try on different frames virtually. This feature helps get a better sense of how a particular frame will look on a customer’s face before making a purchase.

    innovations in eye care

    Another one of Lenskart’s innovations in eye care is the Home eye test, designed to provide people with a convenient and affordable way to obtain a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. To take the Lenskart Home Eye Test, customers must first book an appointment on the company’s website or mobile app. 

    The eye test includes a visual acuity test, a color vision test, and a refractive error test. The optometrist will also check the customer’s eye health and recommend any necessary follow-up exams or treatments. After the test, the optometrist will provide a prescription, which the customer can use to purchase glasses or contacts from Lenskart or any other provider.

    SmartBuyGlasses

    innovations in eye care

    SmartBuyGlasses is an online eyewear retailer that was founded in 2006. The company is headquartered in Hong Kong, but it operates in more than 20 countries worldwide. Company’s Virtual Try-On feature is available on the website and allows customers to upload a photo of themselves and try on glasses virtually using augmented reality.

    After the website generates a 3D model of the customer’s face, they can adjust the position and size of the glasses to get a better sense of how they will look on their faces. The virtual try-on innovations in eye care also allow to share images of themselves wearing the glasses with their friends and family to get feedback on which pair looks best on them.

    innovations in eye care

    Another eye care innovation of SmartBuyGlasses is a Lens scanner app that uses advanced technology to scan the user’s current eyeglasses lenses and analyze the prescription, allowing to order a new pair of glasses online without visiting an eye doctor.

    The app works by instructing the user to place their current eyeglasses on a flat surface and position their smartphone camera above the lenses. The app then captures a series of images and uses advanced algorithms to analyze the curvature, thickness, and other factors of the lenses to determine the prescription. 

    GlassesUSA

    innovations in eye care

    GlassesUSA is an innovative and socially responsible eyewear retailer that is committed to providing quality products and services to its customers. With its focus on technology, sustainability, and social impact, GlassesUSA has become a popular choice for customers in the United States and around the world.

    One of the innovations in eye care of GlassesUSA that is worth paying attention to is a Prescription Scanner app. The app works by guiding the user through a series of steps to scan their face and eyes using their smartphone camera. It uses advanced algorithms to analyze the user’s facial features and measure the distance between their pupils, which is a crucial factor in determining the correct prescription for eyeglasses.

    innovations in eye care

    Once the scanning process is complete, the GlassesUSA app provides the user with their personalized prescription and recommendations. The app also offers a Virtual Try-On feature that allows users to see how different frames will look on their faces before making a purchase.

    Another feature is a Find-your-Frame Quiz on the website. The quiz consists of a series of questions that ask users about their face shape, personal style, and preferences for eyeglass frames, such as color, material, and shape. Based on the user’s responses, the specially designed program generates a personalized selection of eyeglasses frames that are recommended for their face shape and style preferences.

    Zenni Optical

    innovations in eye care

    Zenni Optical offers a wide range of eyewear products, including prescription glasses, sunglasses, and sports eyewear. The company offers glasses at significantly lower prices than traditional brick-and-mortar stores, which has made it a popular choice for customers.

    Company’s Virtual Try-On feature uses advanced AR technology to create a 3D model of the user’s face, allowing them to see how different frames will fit and look on them.

    innovations in eye care

    To use the Virtual Try-On innovations in eye care, users simply need to upload a photo of themselves or use their computer or smartphone camera to take a live video. This feature then maps the user’s facial features and displays a selection of eyeglasses frames that can be tried on virtually. Users can then select different frames to see how they look from different angles, and can even compare different frames side-by-side.

    The Zenni Optical Virtual Try-On is a convenient and easy-to-use tool for anyone in the market for a new pair of glasses. It allows users to see how different frames will look on their faces without the need to visit a physical store or try on multiple pairs of glasses. 

    VSP Global

    innovations in eye care

    VSP Global is a leading eyewear company that was founded in 1955 by a group of optometrists who wanted to provide affordable eye care. Today, VSP Global is a major player in the optometric industry and offers its customers a wide range of services and products.

    The company works with a network of over 40,000 eye doctors and optometrists to provide affordable and accessible eye care to its customers. VSP Global also offers other eye care services, such as telehealth consultations, on-site eye exams for businesses and schools, and a mobile eye clinic that serves underserved communities.

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    And as every company from this article, VSP Global has a strong focus on technology and innovations in eye care. The company has developed a number of proprietary technologies, including an AI-powered platform called Eyeconic that helps customers find the right eyewear.

    Eyeconic uses machine learning algorithms to analyze a customer’s facial features and suggest frames that would fit their face shape and size. VSP Global has also developed a mobile app called myVSP that allows customers to manage their vision benefits, find an eye doctor, and order contact lenses online.

    iSight+

    OCT Imaging System

    Another AI-oriented optometry center is iSight+, located in Hong Kong. iSight+ is an excellent example of how an optometric eye care center didn’t hesitate and chose to provide innovations in eye care and a more in-depth examination of the macula.

    Andy Meau. Optometrist, the owner of ISight+ Optometric Eye Care center: 


    “Altris AI will be a great tool in helping to monitor patients with existing macular diseases. I am also honored to be the first EPC in Hong Kong to provide this service.”

    In addition, the eye care center is also equipped with advanced optometric technologies, digital photography systems, and optical coherence tomography (OCT), which helps to provide the highest quality eye examination.

    Summing Up

    Optometry centers can significantly benefit from incorporating innovations in eye care, such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and mobile apps, into their practice. These technologies enhance the patient experience, improve diagnostic accuracy, and streamline clinical workflows.

    Moreover, the use of innovative technology can help optometry centers stay competitive in a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape. Patients are increasingly tech-savvy and expect healthcare providers to offer convenient, digital solutions that meet their needs. By embracing innovative technologies, optometry centers can attract new patients and retain existing ones, while also increasing operational efficiency and reducing costs.

    Of course, there may be concerns about the cost and complexity of integrating new technologies into an optometry practice. However, the benefits of doing so can far outweigh these potential challenges. With careful planning and implementation, optometry centers can successfully leverage AR, AI, and other innovations in eye care to enhance patient care, improve clinical outcomes, and thrive in a rapidly changing healthcare environment.

  • technology in optometry

    New Technology in Optometry: How will Optometry Practice Look in 2040?

    Maria Znamenska
    29.03.2023
    9 min read

    In the next two decades, we can expect to see a paradigm shift in the way optometry is practiced. Advances in new technology in optometry, such as AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, and virtual and augmented reality, are expected to revolutionize the way optometrists diagnose, manage, and treat eye-related problems. For example, smart contact lenses that can monitor blood sugar levels for diabetic patients or detect early signs of glaucoma are already in development, and they could become mainstream within the next 20 years.

    technology in optometry

    In addition to optometry technology advancements, changes in demographics will also play a significant role in shaping the future of optometry. The aging population will require more specialized eye care, particularly for conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts, which are more prevalent in older adults. The rise of chronic diseases such as diabetes will also increase the demand for optometric services, especially in developing countries where access to healthcare is limited.

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    The future of new technology in optometry is exciting and holds great promise for patients and practitioners alike. In this article, we will explore some of the potential changes that ODs may face in the coming years, based on the survey that we have conducted.

    New technology in optometry: AI is here to help

    In the next 20 years, the technology in optometry will be represented by AI and is expected to revolutionize the field in several areas. Here are some ways AI is already helping optometry:

    • Diagnosis and treatment. AI algorithms can analyze large amounts of patient data and provide accurate and fast diagnoses of eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. AI could also help in designing personalized treatment plans for individual patients.
    • Screening and monitoring. AI-powered optometry technology could help specialists to screen patients for eye diseases more accurately and quickly. For example, a patient could take a picture of their eyes with their smartphone and an AI algorithm could analyze the image for signs of eye disease. AI could also help in monitoring the progression of eye diseases over time.

    technology in optometry

    • Enhance patient care. AI-powered tools could help ODs to provide more personalized and comprehensive care to their patients. For example, AI technology in optometry could help in selecting the most suitable eyeglasses or contact lenses for a patient based on their unique vision needs and lifestyle factors.
    • Research and development. AI could help optometrists in developing new treatments for eye diseases. By analyzing large amounts of patient data, AI algorithms could identify new patterns and potential treatments for eye diseases.

    In addition, the implementation of AI in optometry technology can present various prospects for improving clinic operations, simplifying billing procedures, accelerating the input of EHRs (electronic health records), optimizing claims management, and boosting cash flow. As high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) gain popularity among employers and patients, revenue cycle management can be seamlessly integrated with AI technology, considering the increasing number of patients defaulting on their medical bill payments.

    technology in optometry

    Altho artificial intelligence is about to bring significant changes to the industry, it is important to remember that the effectiveness of AI is limited to tasks that it has been specifically trained to perform, while it may not perform well in areas outside its training. 

    Therefore, it is crucial to focus on enhancing ODs’ proficiency in utilizing AI instead of worrying about the possibility of job replacement. The integration of AI technology in optometry provides specialists with an opportunity to enhance patient outcomes on a global scale.

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    To be proficient in utilizing cutting-edge technologies, ODs specialists must possess critical thinking skills and the ability to manage complex cases in real-time. Additionally, communication skills are also essential, including cultural sensitivity, multilingualism, and familiarity with alternative communication platforms such as mobile technology. These skills will be particularly important for optometry specialists from 2040.

    technology in optometry

    Overall, AI has the potential to greatly improve the accuracy and speed of diagnosing and treating eye diseases, leading to better patient outcomes and a more efficient healthcare system.

    The evolution of OD and MD roles

    Back in 2019, Richard C. Edlow, OD, claimed that nearly 20mln more routine and medical eye exams will be required in 2025 compared to 2015. The volume of surgery that will be required for the aging US population will increase as well. What is more, the number of cataract surgical procedures will also significantly increase — from 3.6 million in 2015 to 5 million in 2025. Add here the fact that the number of ophthalmologists will increase by only 2.1% in this same period. 

    Given these facts, in the not-too-distant future, ophthalmologists will need to focus on surgical procedures, while optometrists will provide more medical care.

    technology in optometry

    The field of ophthalmology must be fully prepared to meet the huge and growing demand for surgical procedures and therapeutic intravitreal injections. This brings us to the fact that the field of optometry, in turn, must be ready to manage the ever-increasing demand for medical ophthalmic services.

    The roles of OD and MD are changing as with the advent of electronic healthcare, ophthalmologists are already spending more time on the computer instead of providing proper patient care. The ability to use innovative technologies, digital thought processes and critical thinking will create new opportunities in eye care as optometrists are moving further towards ‘data analysis’ and away from ‘data collection’. OD specialists must ensure that they are properly trained in new technology in optometry and its advances to enhance, not inhibit, the quality of patient care.

    technology in optometry

    It is also worth mentioning that despite the speed of new technology in optometry, the human relationship between patient and doctor remains the most powerful tool. To properly care for patients, ODs will need more than clinical skills, knowledge, or the latest technological advances. Patients need thoughtful, professional, kind, trusting, understanding, and caring optometrists.

    As technology advances, there will also be changes in optometry education. There may be more need for data analysis, less need for data collection, and an increased need for interpersonal skills (such as empathy, compassion, and bedside manner).

    The role of OCT technology in optometry

    OCT has become an important diagnostic tool for the detection and treatment of various eye diseases, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. The ability of OCT to obtain high-resolution cross-sectional images of the retina and optic nerve will broaden the horizons of optometry technology and help optometrists detect and track changes in ocular structures that may not be visible during the normal eye examination. 

    As technology advances and the use of AI and imaging techniques increases, the demand for OCT in the field of optometry is expected to continue to grow.

    technology in optometry

    Here are some ways in which optometrists will benefit from implementing OCT in their practice:

    • Improved diagnosis. OCT provides highly detailed images of the structures of the eye, allowing ODs to detect and diagnose eye conditions much earlier than with traditional methods. In fact, OCT is also called an optical retinal biopsy. This method makes it possible to examine 18 zones of the retina and detect minor or rare pathologies. This enables optometrists to provide timely treatment and prevent further damage to the eye. 
    • Better management of eye diseases. OCT allows optometrists to monitor the progression of eye diseases such as glaucoma, ARMD, and diabetic retinopathy by taking detailed retinal images. It helps to determine the severity and stage of the disease, compare images after examination with documented results, and track disease progression. Moreover, with OCT examinations, ODs can also monitor the same patient to choose the most accurate diagnosis.
    • Enhanced patient care. OCT is a non-invasive and painless procedure that is easy for patients to undergo. It uses safe laser light, avoiding all the side effects or risks. As the procedure is comfortable and effortless both for the ODs and patients, it helps to build stronger relationships by providing a less intimidating experience than other examinations.
    • Increased revenue. Offering OCT in their practice can provide optometrists with an additional revenue stream, as they can charge for the procedure and use it to attract new patients.

    Summing up, implementing OCT in their practice can help optometrists provide better patient care, improve their diagnostic accuracy, and increase revenue.

    Focusing on myopia management

    According to a survey conducted by the American Optometrists Association, nearly 70% of optometrists reported an increase in patient requests for myopia treatment in the last two years. Myopia is a rapidly growing problem worldwide. Only in the USA, it is predicted that by 2050 the number of patients will increase to 49.8%. As unfortunate as it may be, such a global epidemic of myopia will undoubtedly create an opportunity to expand the practice of specialized treatment.

    technology in optometry

    In the future, optometrists may manage myopia using a combination of approaches, and one of the most discussed is orthokeratology (ortho-K). This non-surgical approach that involves wearing specially designed contact lenses has been used to reduce the degree of myopia since the 1960s. Although this method is not new in optometry practice, many companies are still working hard to create new approaches and upgrade them. For example, 2 years ago, Johnson & Johnson Vision announced FDA approval of its Acuvue Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses for the management of myopia. That same year, CooperVision announced that its Procornea DreamLite night lenses for ortho-k had received the CE Mark from European regulators for slowing the progression of myopia in children and young adults. 

    Overall, the future of myopia management in optometry is likely to involve a personalized, multi-faceted approach that combines various strategies to reduce the progression of myopia and improve vision.

    Game-changing contact lenses

    In the research published in Advanced Materials Technologies, was claimed that in the near future, contact lens sensors can be used to monitor many common diseases. The fact is that in the lacrimal fluid, there are biomarkers, the presence of which will make it possible to create diagnostic contact lenses. Such lenses would analyze these biomarkers and detect and treat systemic and ocular diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and dry eye syndrome.

    It is predicted that in the near future, lenses will be able to monitor intraocular pressure, detect glaucoma, and even create images of retinal vessels for early detection of hypertension, stroke, and diabetes. For patients with diabetes, these lenses would be incredibly useful because of the measurement of blood glucose levels. Some companies, like Google, have already dedicated years to creating such lenses. Nowadays, scientists are even working on lenses that change color to alert about changes in glucose levels.

    technology in optometry

    However, according to Advanced Intelligent Systems, one of the limitations of these lenses to date is that they can typically only detect one biomarker in the eye, such as glucose or lactic acid. Lenses capable of detecting multiple chemical components are predicted to be developed in the future.

    Summing up

    Predicting the exact way optometry practices will look in 20 years is challenging, as technological advancements and societal changes can rapidly alter the way healthcare is delivered. However, in this article, we tried to predict ​​some potential trends and developments that could shape optometry practices in the next 20 years based on the opinion of the leading experts in the industry. 

    To put it simply, AI and technology will slowly gain popularity among eye care specialists. However, in 2040 artificial intelligence and machine learning still will be only an assistant, while ODs will be responsible for the diagnosis and treatment. 

    Check how artificial intelligence assists in OCT interpretation

     

    This brings to the forefront the important principles of patient education, empathy, and personal contact with patients (virtue ethics). Innovations in technology should allow ODs to have more personal contact and more time to improve outcomes for patients-not to improve productivity.

    In addition, optometric education will need to address these interpersonal skills so future generations of ODs are able to adequately educate patients on findings and ensure the quality of care.

    There will always be a business of health care, but the challenge for the optometric profession is for ODs to place the well-being of all patients as their first priority.