Article Date: 10/1/2007

An Auto-focus, Auto-alignment Fundus Camera
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An Auto-focus, Auto-alignment Fundus Camera

LESLIE GOLDBERG, ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Nidek's AFC-210 Pro Photographer is an auto-focus, auto-alignment non-mydriatic fundus camera. The AFC-210 takes true 45° images without any cropping and produces high-resolution — 12.8 megapixel — images. These high-resolution images are optimal for early diagnostic diabetic screening, says Nidek (Fremont, CA).

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"When I purchased this camera, the idea was to buy something as staff–training-independent as possible," says William May, MD, in private practice in Whittier, CA. "There is some skill involved in using the AFC-210, but even with staff turnover, we can continue to function without needing someone with a lot of skill in photography."

The highly automated design allows users with limited experience to take professional quality retina images after just a few minutes of guidance. By integrating the innovative imaging optical system, the technologically advanced AFC-210 realizes digital fundus imaging of high resolution and fine gradation.

The fine gradation provides clear and detailed display of the entire fundus image from the light optic disc to a darkened disease area. With noise greatly reduced, the system offers retinal photography with minimum flash exposure, allowing quick and efficient fundus photography of both eyes, thereby minimizing patient discomfort.

Dr. May says that the panoramic viewing function is very helpful in detecting corneal nevi. "Corneal nevi are fairly common and you don't want to see them growing because then they can become tumorous, which is a rare but serious condition," he says. In addition, Dr. May says that the AFC-210 is a helpful tool in following diseases and verifying certain types of disease situations, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma progression.

"The 210 is very good at taking stereo disk photos," says Dr. May. "I really need to see a 3-dimensional view of the nerve in glaucoma patients. When I am evaluating patients for glaucoma, the stereo image is the most certain thing I can use as pressure continually fluctuates and visual field tests are not always accurate."

Figure. A fundus image taken with the AFC-210.

Dr. May uses these stereo images of the nerve to compare to previous ones. "When I see no change, it is reassuring. There is no progressive damage. Stereo disk photos are great for following progression of disease. It's reassuring that I have someone under good control."

An auto-tracking function actually allows the AFC-210 camera head to move up and down automatically to center on a patient's pupil. This expedites initial alignment and helps to offset any patient movement during the imaging process. In addition, the AFC has an autofocus feature that performs focusing when the operator zooms in through the patient's pupil. Fine focus can be controlled by the operator at the time of the image capture, if desired.

The AFC-210 is compact and has an automatic blink-detection feature. If a patient blinks while undergoing the imaging process, the AFC-210 will stop taking photographs until the eye is open again. Additionally, Dr. May says that image manipulation and storage is much easier than with his anterior chamber camera. RP

For more information on Nidek's AFC-210, visit the company Web site at www.usa.nidek.com.

Dr. May has no financial ties to Nidek.



Retinal Physician, Issue: October 2007