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Tech

Pen-sized camera said to improve glaucoma diagnosis

07/05/2018
Scientists have developed a ‘pen camera’ that they claim makes the diagnosis of glaucoma faster, cheaper and easier.

Unlike current gonioscopes, the GonioPEN causes negligible discomfort and can capture detailed images of the eye drainage canal with minimal contact to the cornea. Software is then used to analyse the images and aid doctors with their diagnosis.


"The GonioPEN’s ease of use means it can be used by primary, secondary or private eyecare physicians, while its compact size makes it portable for all healthcare set-ups."
Murukeshan Vadakke Matham, Associate professor at Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

The inventors, headed by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Associate Professor Murukeshan Vadakke Matham and Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) executive director Professor Aung Tin, developed the device by combining a high-resolution camera with LEDs.

Aside from producing high quality images, it also allows them to be stored for review at a later date, something Murukeshan said could benefit both doctors and patients.

“A technician could perform the gonioscopy before a specialist reviews the images to give an in-depth diagnosis or a second opinion. Doctors can also better track the changes in their patients’ condition over time,” Murukeshan said.

“The GonioPEN’s ease of use means it can be used by primary, secondary or private eyecare physicians, while its compact size makes it portable for all healthcare set-ups. The cost is also kept low because a microscope is no longer required.”

The prototype pen camera, which was developed over the course of two years, will cost around $5,000 when it becomes available and will be able to connect to computers via a USB cable.

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