It is a kind of a new diagnostic tool. The device is based on spectral-domain coherence tomographic imaging (SD-OCT), and it studies the thickness of the retina, which is important in the diagnosis of achromatopsia. The new approach is non-invasive and is an advance over previous methods that depended largely on family history, patient age, and standard eye exams.It has been very difficult to understand the retinal structure of children with achromatopsia because young children are known to be uncooperative during eye examinations designed for the adults. This new, non-invasive technology tests for optical diseases by operating like a handheld computed tomography (CT) scanner for the eye. The device accurately performs retinal diagnoses without getting too close to the young patient, who may have difficulty sitting still.
A new hand-held retinal scanner was designed to be quickly and easily used anywhere. Ordinarily, eye exams are carried out using relatively large instruments that are permanently located in an optometrist or ophthalmologist's office. The portable prototype MIT device, by contrast, is about the size of a consumer camcorder. It can "read" a patient's eye in seconds, using a single measurement to look for conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration.It utilizes an existing technique known as optical coherence tomography (OCT), in which beams of infrared light are shone onto the retina. By measuring both how long it takes those beams to reflect back, and the intensity of those reflections, the scanner is able to build up a radar-like 3D image of the retina. It's the same technology used by the traditional larger scanners, although the development of a miniaturized mirror for scanning the imaging beam allows it to be used in the new device.