A fundus camera is a specialised low powered microscope with an attached camera which lets doctors see inside the back of the eye. The doctors can also see other structures in the eye such as blood vessels and optic nerves. The application of fundus examination is of great importance for a range of healthcare practices, particularly at primary healthcare facilities. Apart from the need to identify any blindness risk factors in time for permanent damage prevention, it can also be used for the diagnosis and treatment of various clinical ophthalmologic conditions. Among the leading causes of death in South Africa, diabetes and hypertension fall among the top seven. The advancement and treatment efficiency for both of these conditions can be evaluated via proper fundus examination practices. Furthermore funduscopy can be used to identify opportunistic infections related to HIV as well as detect head injuries or brain tumors.
Our technology is a portable, low cost, handheld, patient guided fundus camera used to screen patients for retinopathy. This technology requires less skilled staff for operation and makes for easier examination of patients that are generally non-cooperative such as infants and animals.
Instead of using a dual spectrum illumination functionality which is the current convention for fundus cameras, the proposed device uses a target image projected onto the optic axis of the camera serving the purpose of directing the patient’s gaze as well as forcing the patientto focus on the correct plane, which automatically focusses the camera on the fundus.
Wayne Swart, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University.
Prof Pieter Fourie, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University.
Prof Dawie van den Heever, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University.