Will wide-field and OCT replace direct observation in eye exams?

Adrian O’Dowd examines to what extent wide-angle fundus images and OCT, coupled with the impact of the pandemic, might replace the need for direct observation through retinal exams.

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Ever-improving technology, added to social distancing rules brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, is accelerating changes in the capture of retinal images. 

Digital imaging and its refinement by optical coherence tomography (OCT) has enhanced the understanding of many retinochoroidal diseases, ways of managing common conditions and the definition of successful treatment of those diseases (Kumar et al, 2020). It is also non-invasive, cuts down on face-to-face time, improves diagnostic confidence and patient care, and provides an accurate record of current eye health. 

In some cases, OCT has removed the need for repeated fluorescein angiography for continued management decisions (Kumar et al, 2020), and high-speed OCT machines and some algorithms of OCT signal analysis have also helped develop OCT angiography (OCTA).

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