Researchers have created robotic diagnostic imaging equipment that automatically detects and scans a patient’s eyes for indicators of various eye illnesses. The new device, which combines an imaging scanner and a robotic arm, can track and image a patient’s eyes in under a minute and provide images as clear as those produced by standard scanners in specialized eye clinics.
To use the equipment, a patient approaches the scanner and stands in front of the robotic arm. Smaller cameras in the robotic arm seek landmarks on the eye to accurately position the scanner, while 3D cameras to the left and right of the robot help find the patient in space.
Diagnostic imaging technology can scan the macula (the region of the retina responsible for our central vision) and the cornea (the clear front area of the eye), both common sites for eye problems. The instrument scans and images each eye in less than ten seconds, and the total operation takes less than fifty seconds.
Because the patient is never in physical contact with the system, their tool avoids any hygiene and infectious disease concerns that arise with the shared chin and headrest in traditional OCT systems. The researchers also demonstrate that their robotic system is very safe––especially considering how close it can get to a patient’s face.
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