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Kenneth Tran, Thomas A. Mendel, Kristina L. Holbrook, Paul A. Yates; Construction of an Inexpensive, Hand-Held Fundus Camera through Modification of a Consumer “Point-and-Shoot” Camera. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(12):7600-7607. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.12-10449.
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To construct a low-cost, easy-to-use, high-image-quality mydriatic fundus camera with “point-and-shoot” operation, and to evaluate the efficacy of this camera to accurately document retinal disease.
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 Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved study.
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 that of existing commercial cameras. Pathology related to both nonproliferative and proliferative diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration was easily identified from fundus images obtained from the low-cost camera.
Early prototype development and clinical testing have 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-and-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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