Ljubljana, SLOVENIA — A new remote-controlled system for slit lamp examination allows delivery of specialized eye care services to patients in poorly served rural areas and islands, decreasing commuting and financial burden, according to one speaker.
“In Greece, the financial crisis has had a huge impact on the national health system and on the life of patients. Especially for those located in remote rural areas and islands, coming to hospital is difficult and expensive,” Iordanis Chatziangelidis, MD, a resident at Athens Eye Hospital, said at the winter meeting of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.
Chatziangelidis invented and developed a low-cost remote-controlled slit lamp and aims at implementing it within the National Health Service.
The project was entirely self-financed. Chatziangelidis purchased a slit lamp on eBay and the hardware for motorized back-forth and left-right movements and slit angulation. He used an Apple iPhone, a 4G Internet connection, Skype HD or Apple FaceTime to capture and stream videos.
“Total cost of this project was €7,845, plus a monthly cost of €60 for the mobile Internet connection,” he said.
Sensitivity was not evaluated because “it would not be fair on the machine at this stage,” Chatziangelidis said. “It depends on video quality, which depends on the bandwidth.”
Cable and Ethernet connections are potentially more stable and provide higher definition but need infrastructures and have a cost, he said.
“Preliminary data are very promising. We continue to develop the slit lamp and are planning to control the slit width and heights, luminosity and magnification without a significant cost increase,” he said.
Disclosure: Chatziangelidis has no relevant financial disclosures.