One eye specialist already using the system is Michael Bärtschi, M.Sc., M.med.Educ., FAAO, who has his own practice, Kontaktlinsenstudio Bärtschi, in Bern, Switzerland, and is also a Research Fellow at Basel University’s Department of Ophthalmology. Bärtschi, says he never bought a fundus camera because he could never find one he was entirely satisfied with.
Of those, only one could not be imaged successfully with EasyScan (the left eye had some shadowing in the periphery): “Optometrists here are not allowed to use any therapeutic or diagnostic drugs to dilate the pupil, so the zero-dilation offers a major benefit to me,” Bärtschi notes. As well as eliminating the need to dilate in all cases, Bärtschi says his experience of using EasyScan has revealed a number of other speed and patient-comfort advantages. One he points to is the lower intensity flash found in EasyScan. “With a fundus camera, the flash is so intense that you have to wait several minutes for the pupil to open up again for the next image. With EasyScan, it takes only 20 seconds for the pupil to return to its normal size. Another benefit, Bärtschi says, is the use of green and red lasers, because these provide a more detailed, more contrast-rich image. “The wonderful thing with this camera is that it shows much more than an ordinary fundus image. I can see extremely small vessels or irregularities on the retina, screen the optic nerve head on different levels and differentiate better between blood dots and pigment spots. The precision of the image is excellent – I am very satisfied with the image quality – and the patients appreciate it too, which is very good for client loyalty.
“EasyScan,” he continues, “is improving the quality of screening. It helps me to differentiate better between something that is normal or suspicious and means I can help my ophthalmologist make the diagnosis. It makes me much more of a partner to the ophthalmologist, and means they have more time to focus on their specialisms. When you can see more and identify more you can offer a higher quality service and be more sure that you are not missing something.”