Construction of an Inexpensive, Hand-Held Fundus Camera through Modification of a Consumer "Point-and-Shoot" Camera

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science (Impact Factor: 3.66). 10/2012; 53(12). DOI: 10.1167/iovs.12-10449
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT PURPOSE: To construct a low cost, easy-to-use, high image quality mydriatic fundus camera with "point & shoot" operation, and to evaluate the efficacy of this camera to accurately document retinal disease. Methods: A prototype portable fundus camera was designed by interfacing a novel optical module with a Panasonic Lumix G2 consumer camera. Low cost commercially available optics were used to create even illumination of the fundus, providing a 50° retinal field of view. A comparative study assessing the image quality of the prototype camera against a traditional tabletop fundus camera was conducted under an IRB-approved study. RESULTS: A stand-alone, mydriatic camera prototype was successfully developed at a parts cost of less than $1000. The prototype camera was capable of operating in a point-and-shoot manner with automated image focusing and exposure, and the image quality of fundus photos was comparable to existing commercial cameras. Pathology related to both non-proliferative and proliferative diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration was easily identified from fundus images obtained from the low cost camera. CONCLUSIONS: Early prototype development and clinical testing has shown that a consumer digital camera can be inexpensively modified to image the fundus with professional diagnostic quality. The combination of low cost, portability, "point & shoot" operation, and high image quality provides a foundational platform on which one can design an accessible fundus camera to screen for eye disease.

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