Eye Q Digital Retinal Imaging System from Canon captures eye images for fast diabetic screening

Irvine 12 February 2003Approximately six million people in the United States live with a biological time bomb: undiagnosed diabetes. To help doctors diagnose the disease sooner and implement treatment during its earliest phases, the medical profession is using a new tool that combines traditional medical techniques with the latest digital imaging technology while eliminating the process of dilating a patient's eye. The Eye Q Digital Retinal Imaging System from Canon Medical Systems, with a price range of $26.000 to $80.000 depending on configuration, enables ophthalmologists and optometrists to capture instantly ultra high-resolution digital images that can be reviewed, analysed, printed, and digitally communicated anywhere in the world.

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Since the health threats caused by diabetes often remain unseen during early stages of the disease, many people unknowingly join the growing ranks of those estimated 17 million who suffer from one or more of its devastating complications. Diabetes is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States. Elevated blood sugar levels from diabetes can cause tiny blood vessels in the eye to weaken, rupture, and damage the retina. Each year, more than 12.000 diabetic Americans lose their eyesight.

"Applying modern digital imaging technology to the detection and diagnostic process of early stage diabetic retinopathy can help with early diagnosis and treatment of the disease", stated Toru Yoneyama, sales and marketing manager, Canon Medical Systems, Canon U.S.A. Inc. "The delivery of true high-resolution digital imaging and telemedicine capabilities to the desktop with Canon's leading-edge retinal cameras allows eye-care specialists to provide fast reviews and superior care."

In 1976, Canon's optical technology capability led to the development of the world's first non-mydriatic retinal camera for mass screening of adult diseases such as diabetic retinopathy. Mydriasis, the excessive dilation of the pupil of the eye for proper examination, traditionally relied on drops to initiate artificial dilation. To reduce discomfort and inconvenience from this examination procedure, Canon created the non-mydriatic camera to photograph the eye during natural dilation that occurs when a patient is tested in a dark room.

"This public health breakthrough allowed the patient to drive or to return to activities immediately after the examination without the inconvenience experienced when eyes are dilated", added Mr. Yoneyama. "Now, the sixth generation of this technology is evident in Canon's new Eye Q Digital Retinal Imaging System."

The unique non-invasive design of Eye Q Digital Retinal Imaging System from Canon Medical Systems simplifies diabetic screening. Providers can monitor the pathology, review diagnoses with flexible software in a paperless system, allow long-range diagnostic consultation, and provide a host of other clinical and non-clinical applications. This system provides faster and more accurate information about the disease than conventional methods, and it assists doctors with the diagnosis of the disease and improves the capability to provide superior ophthalmic/optometric care to patients.

"We are looking at a balance between the overall health of the eyes and what the eyes can tell us about the body as a whole", stated Dr. Stanley Anton, who served thousands of patients at New York's World Trade Center prior to September 2001 and has since relocated and revitalised his practice about 40 miles away in Holmdel, New Jersey.

"By examining the eyes, we can see the onset of diabetes", added Dr. Anton, who also has a personal interest in this disease as his eight-year-old son is diabetic. "But we also can see glaucoma and brain tumours manifesting in the eye. This new digital technology allows me to pick up subtleties that I couldn't see before in the course of my examinations."

Canon's Eye Q captures multi-dimensional images and synchronises them to most image capture devices. The system has the sensitivity and accuracy to allow detection of early stages of, and small changes in, diabetic retinopathy, and it provides tools for comparison, model building, and statistical and recursive analysis. With high capacity speed, it communicates on local, wide and other networks. It facilitates reviews by image recall on any criteria and it has comprehensive image handling, storing millions of images without losing quality or compromising data.

Eye Q from Canon Medical Systems maximises flexibility. The system is equipped with XML interface for universal software and Internet compatibility. Software and hardware can be updated and upgraded, virtually eliminating future costly system replacements. No matter the size of the practice or clinic, it can scale up to any configuration from one or two review and capture stations to a multi-cluster network, and it readily is integrated into current work flow requirements.

"Facing the varied needs of patient managed care and the escalating costs of operating a practice, a digital solution can contribute to the growth of the practice and the quality of care that is provided", added Mr. Yoneyama. "Canon has created two systems to meet the many specialisations and requirements of ophthalmologists and optometrists. Both are fully compatible with the Canon EOS D60 digital camera to provide true digital high-resolution images."

Eye Q Lite from Canon Medical Systems is for colour and red-free imaging used in general clinical and optometric casework, such as anterior segmenting and diabetic screening. Bundled with both Canon's CR6-45NM Non-mydriatic Retinal Camera and a Canon digital camera, it provides state-of-the-art image resolution and a lightning fast image capture of less than 10 seconds. By providing a means for mass diabetic screening and allowing doctors to detect the subtle changes of ocular disorders, it is considered the most cost-effective digital retinal imaging solution for general optometry and ophthalmology practices.

Eye Q Pro from Canon Medical Systems provides the same high performance, high resolution and speed as Canon's Eye Q Lite, and it adds dynamic imaging functions for more advanced pathology applications. This includes fluorescein angiography, which is often performed by university hospitals and large clinics, and ICG procedures. Bundled with both the Canon 60 degree CF-60Uvi or CF-60UD Fundus Camera, it is available for ophthalmologists and clinicians specialising in advanced pathology and research.

Features include:

  • Easy to use interface. Intuitively designed to follow user work flow and system application, it uses a Windows-type format with convenient drop-down menus and strategic help "wizards".
  • Advanced review and analysis functions. A full range of image manipulation functions allows users to enhance image detail, measure cup/disc ratios and view sequential fundus or video images. Extensive reporting tools and dialogues make it easy to track data and images, and present information clearly and concisely to patients.
  • Unlimited database capacity. Patient records and image references are encoded and stored locally in separate indexed databases on a high capacity media or network server. The system can be cross-referenced by patient, diagnosis, or visit without space limitation.
  • Scalable system design. Full capability to expand or integrate additional workstations. It supports either a stand-alone capture or review station, or multiple stations connected over a network or through phone lines.
  • Compatible with LAN, WAN and DICOM/HL-7 networks. It has the digital standardisation required to fully participate in image and data sharing within the growing telemedicine community.

Canon Medical Systems is a division of Canon U.S.A. Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. Canon U.S.A. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. Canon U.S.A. employs approximately 11.000 people at over 30 locations.


Leslie Versweyveld

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