The Slit-Lamp has been the primary ophthalmic tool since 1919 and to this day is an invaluable tool for the diagnosis and evaluation of common ocular complaints, ocular emergencies, and systemic disease.
However, it has a significant limitation – the examination requires an onsite meeting between the ophthalmologist, the patient, and the Slit-Lamp device. Resulting in billions of people all over the world who are left without access to professional ophthalmic services. The U.S National Institute of Health (NIH) claims that the number of people with visual impairment or blindness in the United States is expected to double to more than 8 million by 2050.
According to the CDC, in the U.S alone the annual economic impact of major vision problems among the adult population 40 years and older is more than $145 billion as for today. The annual cost is estimated to reach almost $400 Billion by 2050.
This issue is unfortunately very common in developing countries yet is also pronounced in western countries such as the U.S. Canada, the U.K and australia. While in other fields of medicine the issue of accessibility has been addressed, using technological solutions, Still to this day a solution for a remote Slit-lamp examination is yet to be introduced to the market.
The inherent difficulties of face to face meetings are amplified these days as the result of COVID-19 infection risk during face to face meetings.
The optimal platform for ophthalmic Telemedicine
We started our design from first principles to best address the requirements for a telemedicine-based medical device. A medical device that from the ground up is designed for remote operation, completely mitigating latency in operation, allowing for a real-time, comprehensive, dynamic examination that can be fully controlled by a remote physician, while on the other hand offering advanced automation capabilities.
During the design and implementation of such a solution, we have to provide a multi-disciplinary solution including Electro-optics, mechanics, various software technologies including image processing and auto-focus techniques.
This product will allow ophthalmologists to conduct their examinations from their office on patients from remote locations without the need for a face to face meeting. This way, providing the peripheral population access to professional ophthalmic services.