June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
A novel approach to ophthalmic photography using a portable and versatile camera device
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • R Joel Welch
    Ophthalmology, UNMC, Omaha, NE
  • Quan Dong Nguyen
    Ophthalmology, UNMC, Omaha, NE
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships R Joel Welch, None; Quan Dong Nguyen, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 4102. doi:
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      R Joel Welch, Quan Dong Nguyen; A novel approach to ophthalmic photography using a portable and versatile camera device. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):4102.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Smartphone fundus photography has grown in popularity over recent years. The ability to use a portable device, such as a smartphone, to capture high-resolution and clinically relevant fundus photographs has had a significant impact on patient care and inter-physician communication. While the cameras of modern smartphones are growing increasingly robust, limitations do exist. To date, the GoPro camera (GoPro Inc., San Mateo, CA, USA), considered as one of the most powerful and versatile portable camera devices, has not been used in ophthalmic photography. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the GoPro camera can be used for ophthalmic fundus photography.


A GoPro HERO4 Silver camera (GoPro Inc., San Mateo, CA, USA ) and a 20D lens (Volk Optical Inc., Mentor, OH, USA) were used for this study. Additionally, a battery-powered five millimeter white LED (NTE Electronics, Inc., Bloomfield, NJ, USA) was used as the coxial light source and attached to the camera using Transpore medical tape (3 M, St. Paul, MN, USA). A simple and inexpensive model of the human eye was constructed to aide the author in learning image capture technique before approaching a human volunteer. Once the technique was mastered using the model, the right eye of one human volunteer was dilated in order to safely capture human fundus images. GoPro software was then used for image processing.


The GoPro camera was able to capture images with both the simple eye model and the healthy human eye. Images from the study included healthy optic nerve, retinal vessel, and macular anatomy (Figure).


The GoPro camera is capable of capturing fundus images of the human eye; however, the clinical utility of the images still needs to be demonstrated. The quality of the images rivals that of smartphone ophthalmic photography and head-to-head testing could be an area of future exploration. Additionally, while there was success with the GoPro/LED combination for coaxial camera and light source, improvements in the construct could potentially yield higher image quality. High-quality ophthalmic images obtained with relatively inexpensive and portable devices, such as the GoPro camera, will likely continue to have a growing impact on the field of ophthalmology.  

Figure 1. Fundus photo of the right eye using GoPro camera device.
Figure 1. Fundus photo of the right eye using GoPro camera device.


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