Back to News and Technology

New Ultra-Widefield Imaging Technology: How Optos is Transforming Retinal Health

Posted on July 14th, 2021

Used to catch diseases, widefield imaging is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses scanning lasers to take a picture of the inside of the eye.

While this technology has been successful up to now, these traditional cameras can only capture a part of the inside of the eyeball.

So, can we see the rest of the eye?

Enter ultra-widefield imaging by Optos, a new imaging method that is used to take pictures of the part of the eye that covers everything from the backend of the crystalline through to the back wall of the eye, the retina. Amazingly, it allows optometrists to see about 82 percent of the retina at a 200-degree image.

We’re diving in to how this ground-breaking technology is helping the industry evolve by assisting in diagnosing those hard-to-detect diseases possibly hiding behind the eye.

What is Optos?

Considered one of the most exciting new ultra-widefield imaging technologies on the market, Optos is a division of Nikon. Yes, that Nikon!

The company uses Optomap imaging in its state-of-the-art retinal imaging machines. The latest instrument, the Silverstone, is currently touted as the most powerful tool built for examination and pathology detection anywhere across the retina.

This ability to take a sharp picture of the entirety of the retina is said to be evolving into the standard of eye care imaging and illness prevention—and it’s painless, quick, incredibly detailed, and non-intrusive. Studies show that UWF improves efficiency and reduces the length of a patients visit, making it a faster, less stressful experience and allowing the clinic to treat more patients.

What does it do?

UWF imaging takes a picture of the entirety of the inside of your eye. That’s about 82 percent of the retina.  

The systems available today can produce wide and UWF colour images of the inside the eye. They can also take photos that use both green dye (indocyanine angiography) and fluorescent dye (fluorescein angiography), as well as produce images based on the naturally occurring fluorescence within the eye itself (autofluorescence imaging).

Devices that use ultra-widefield imaging technology are excellent at discovering and assessing issues, such as diabetic retinopathy, uveitis, retinal vasculitis, retinal vein occlusion, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration.

How is the Optos technology different?

Optos technology is by no means the only retinal imaging technology on the market, but Optos is the first camera capable of producing a 200-degree view of the inside of the eye. Optos products have been substantially researched and tested with over 1000 peer-reviewed and medical journals, allowing them to be recognized as some of the best products on the market.

The Silverstone is the newest in the lineup of excellent devices produced by Optos. The device is heralded as the only UWF imaging device with guided optical coherence tomography scans. That means it can scan the layers of the retina and the optic nerve in addition to the 200-degree image it provides.

Optos technology has also made the news for the added safety of easy distancing and disease spread prevention, which is crucial as clinics open back up after lockdowns.

How is it UWF technology changing the eyecare landscape?

A device that uses ultra-widefield imaging technology removes many of the challenges of the early imaging devices, which typically shows about 15-30 percent of the retina. Most importantly, this new level of technology has accelerated the understanding and treatment of retinal diseases—which makes this type of imaging a fantastic tool for more diseases to be discovered in the earlier stages of development, allowing for a lower risk of damage and better treatment options.

Ultra-widefield imaging improves clinic efficiency in appointment duration, patient management, and treatment decisions. To put it simply, the heightened ability to quickly see and detect health risks is shifting the eyecare landscape. Doctors are more easily able to detect diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and vein imaging, to name a few.

Have more questions about this new technology, or need a check of your retinal health? Book an eye exam with your local FYidoctors clinic today.