Hemel Hempstead, UK – Independent optometrist, John Rose, is the first optometrist in the UK to take delivery of the latest Heidelberg Engineering technology – the OCT Angiography Module (OCTA) in combination with the fast OCT2 Module.
“I am future-proofing my practice”, explains John. “Hospitals are bursting at the seams and there is going to be some transfer of care to optometry. The technology allows us, on the High Street, to visualise within seconds the structure and vasculature of the retina and obtain information about blood flow non-invasively. Already I get a lot of referrals from local ophthalmologists for imaging as it allows them to have useful diagnostic information without the trauma of fluorescein angiography. I am very interested in glaucoma care and believe the OCTA Module will be of great value in this respect as it may help us to understand – and possibly answer – the chicken and egg question of whether capillary drop out comes before nerve fibre loss or vice versa.”
John, who has had a SPECTRALIS for seven years, believes the SPECTRALIS technology “provides another piece of the jigsaw puzzle” in understanding eye health.
“If you are going to invest in equipment you might as well get the best. Heidelberg Engineering think well about back compatibility for referencing: the whole platform is very well thought out.”
The OCT2 Module upgrade is advertised as double the speed of image acquisition, but John Rose believes it is much faster –
“The acquisition is so much faster, especially with complex patients. OCTs are normally demonstrated on healthy young people who sit still, but I have plenty of patients who have Parkinson’s, tremors, and I really notice the difference – it seems more like four times faster to me, which is a massive advantage in my practice.”
“Added to this, the eye tracking system with retinal recognition that Heidelberg Engineering pioneered is unrivalled – it is a massive advantage to know that you are tracking in exactly the same place and looking at real change over time. This is especially true when monitoring subtle changes in neuro-degenerative disease such as glaucoma where it is essential to look at small changes over time, and which may be faster than expected by normal ageing alone. The OCTA module will be useful in AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and artery/vein occlusion.”
“Being able to image the four capillary layers in the retina and the blood flow within them using the OCTA Module in such detail is extraordinary and enables us to visualize and understand pathology in even more detail than ever before. Every day is so interesting – as a profession we are so fortunate to have access to world-leading equipment that tells us so much. As an optometrist, you may like your job, but if you really want to love your job you have to get a SPECTRALIS!”