We were pleased to attend the American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting this year in Chicago with over 23,000 other attendees. The annual AAO event brings together professionals and educators in the ophthalmology field. All share the common purpose of protecting sight and finding new treatments, solutions, and furthering education for patients and the community. Eye care advancements have come a long way and we were privy to all the new and evolving technologies showcased at McCormick Center. Please read our AAO 2018 highlights below.
Lensar has been evolving their cataract laser over the last several years and at AAO they brought their fourth system upgrade in 2 years. This laser is specifically for refractive cataract surgery and allows cataract surgeons to perform LASIK-like procedures with precise incisions. The new system includes pre-programmable preferences based on the surgeon, an optimized user interface, and cataract density imaging. The system also comes with augmented reality feature that provides superior imaging and confidence for corneal incisions. The Lensar is also energy saving and creates a smaller footprint due to its flexibility and mobility. It is designed to fit comfortably in an operating room and the deployable laser head allows for maximum freedom.
Years of Research and Data
Swedish pharmaceutical company, Novartis, treated over 200 million patients globally in 2016 with their ophthalmic products. At AAO they presented nearly 96 weeks of data from ongoing trials and research on how to reduce retinal fluid – a key factor in identifying macular degeneration diseases. Novartis therapies have been hugely impactful for both front of and back of the eye issues and diseases. Their current venture is tackling presbyopia. Despite the ailment being so common (the gradual loss of the ability to focus on close objects), there are no pharmacological solutions and it can last a lifetime. Novartis hopes to change this and develop the first pharmaceutical treatment to modify and cure the disease.
Rapid Results + Accurate Diagnosis
Optos was founded in the early 1990s after Douglas Anderson’s son went blind in one eye. Despite taking his son to regular eye exams, Anderson’s son had retinal detachment and there were no options to save the eye. Recognizing the uncomfortable and inefficient equipment used on his son, which made exams less effective and helpful, Anderson wanted to create a patient-friendly product that would take a digital widefield image of the retina in one single capture, leaving less room for costly errors.
The Optos products produce ultra-widefield (UWF) images of “approximately 82% or 200◦ of the retina, something no other device is capable of doing in a single capture.” With a more complete picture, things like retinal detachment are caught early and treatment can start faster. The state of the art UWF Monaco produces a 200-degree single capture optomap image in an instant while enabling rapid color and autofluorescent OCT scans in under 2 minutes. These rapid results have come from years of research and product development as well as the mission to save children’s eyesight, something Anderson, unfortunately, couldn’t do for his son.
Compact + User-Friendly Machines
Topcon’s tabletop 3D OCT-1 Maestro joins Optos in manageability and ease of use. The Maestro can capture the optic nerve and macula in one single scan with its color fundus camera and alignment/focus/capture triple threat capabilities. Weighing only 46 pounds, the system is practical and user-friendly with its touchscreen control panel, interactive reports, and patient education functions.
With machines being more compact, there is a demand for mobile and versatile instrument tables. K2 Tables, a local company from Crystal Lake, provides accommodating platforms with Adaptive Column Positioning Technology. K2 tables are designed with ACP and can adapt to a number of unique configurations depending on the user. The table column can be rotated on its axis and mounted at 90°, 180°, 270°, and 360°.
Bausch + Lomb
Canadian eye care and health company, Baush + Lomb, brought the Stellaris PC to McCormick Center. B+L have been innovators in the vitreoretinal community for decades and the Stellaris is another creative and ground-breaking product in their family line. Stellaris combines advanced vitreoretinal and cataract correcting technology allowing surgeons to complete surgeries with flexibility and confidence. The benefits of a Stellaris PC include the capability to make Incisions only 1.8 mm deep, dual light source increasing and changing the ability to see ocular tissue, and the convenient and compact sizing allowing it to fit in operating rooms and small offices alike.
Reichert Technologies has over 150 years of design and manufacturing experience in diagnostic instruments and equipment. Their tools are used to identify serious vision diseases like macular degeneration and also more routine applications like vision testing (for humans and pets, seen below). The Tono-Pen has been used and trusted by doctors for 30+ years and is the preferred tool to take IOP measurements. Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the fluid pressure inside the eye. The Tano-O-Pen can measure this pressure within 5 taps, thus determining if the patient is at risk for diseases such as glaucoma. The pen is ergonomically designed (2008 Medical Design Excellence Award Winner) and is designed and manufactured in their world headquarters in Buffalo, New York.
Ergonomics + Eyesight
Pachymeter is a medical device, similar to a tonometer, that is used to measure the thickness of the cornea. It is also used to screen patients for issues such as glaucoma. DGH Technology’s handheld pachymeter, the Pachmate 2, can store and obtain up to 25 measurements in 2 minutes. The Pachmate also has wireless capabilities and can print patient records using it’s Bluetooth capabilities, making the device user-friendly and convenient to share and analyze results.
Cosmetics and Laser Eye Procedures
Outside of the medical strides to fight eye disease, there have also been improvements to more cosmetic and voluntary optic procedures. Not necessarily with plastic surgery, but procedures that provide relief to dry, inflamed, and fatigued eyes. The Lumenis M22 laser a versatile multi-application platform that provides treatments to over 30 skin conditions. The intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment option is used for skin treatments, photorejuvenation, and skin resurfacing. The M22 targets the root of the problem, the eyelid and skin around the eyes, and uses IPL technology to penetrate the skin with wavelengths ranging from 400 to 1200 nanometers (nm). The treatment is gentle and non-invasive and results in long-term relief and freedom from relying on eye drops and works on healing the eyelids and eye area.
Thank you for reading as usual, drop us a note if you want to learn more! Keep an eye out for where we’ll be next!