The intricate nature of ophthalmologic procedures and treatment is testament to the importance of high-functioning and accurate equipment. The clinical skill of doctors relies upon innovations and advancements in medical equipment in order to improve the ability to diagnose and treat patients. High-quality ophthalmic medical equipment is therefore an essential ingredient across all branches of ophthalmology including optometry, neonatal vision screening, laser treatments and surgery.
Keep reading to discover some of the most popular and effective forms of ophthalmic medical equipment used by hospitals and medical practitioners today.
Types of ophthalmic medical equipment
Diagnosis, surgery and vision care are the primary applications of ophthalmic devices.
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration Medical Device Directive classifies equipment based on several factors including the intended use of the device, the degree of risk attributed to patients, users and other persons, the degree of invasiveness in the body and duration of use. There are four such categories within an ophthalmologic setting:
● Class I covers devices are the devices considered to be at low risk. This includes tools such as eye occasion plasters, corrective glass frames and permanent magnets used to remove ocular debris.
● Classes IIa and IIb cover devices that are considered to be medium risk. This section includes tools like contact lenses, lens care solutions, surgical lasers and scleral and corneal implants.
● Class III are devices considered to be at high risk, including implants containing medicinal substances and manufactured devices utilising tissues made out of animals.
Recent innovations in ophthalmic medical equipment
There have been a number of innovations and technological advancements in the ophthalmic equipment industry that have significantly improved patient care and outcomes. Here are some of the most notable recent inventions:
Ophthalmic Diagnostic Equipment
Advances in technology have improved the diagnosis of ocular surface disease, such as dry eye disease, glaucoma and macular degeneration. The ophthalmic equipment and optometry equipment available today is less traumatic, easy to operate and often packed with features that makes diagnosis easier and more accurate. All this translates to healthier corneas, better managed eye disease and ultimately better vision for the patients.
In the field of transplants, it is now possible to donate a single cornea to two patients with the advent of Corneal Lamellar surgeries. Patients with low vision prognosis can also be offered artificial corneas, retinal implants or bioengineered corneas. High quality retinal and optic nerve scans and monitoring are also contributing factors in improved diagnosis and patient outcomes.
For glaucoma patients, stents and valves that help control eye pressure are some of the latest, innovative devices on the market. Retinal surgery equipment includes 27-gauge vitrectomy cutters and lasers act to prevent and control age-related bleeds and diabetic eye disease.
Newer approaches and equipment are used for oculoplastic and squint eye patients to deal with trauma, congenital anomalies, eye movement disorders, congenital anomalies, neuro-ophthalmic diseases, complicated squints and complex tumours.
Some of the common oculoplastic surgical instruments include cannulas, clamps, dilators, forceps, hooks, needles and needle holders, ocular shields, probes, retractors and scissors
Manufacturers have also recently introduced software to improve visual acuity in lazy eyes and equipment to enhance dynamic visual understanding in athletes.
In the important field of rehabilitation, there are electronic devices such as low vision aids and intraocular telescopes that work to assist patients who are recovering from surgery and treatments. Artificial eyes and lenses are also popular for cosmetic improvement purposes.
The ophthalmic medical equipment market
A significant rise in the field of eye-related conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and refractive errors has resulted in the ophthalmic medical equipment market rapidly increasing in size. Manufacturers have further benefited from the high demand for efficient diagnostic tools, rapid growth in the geriatric population, increased government investment, rising numbers of practising ophthalmologists and technological advancements.
Manufacturers have catered to this increasing market with frequent product modifications, mobile smartphone applications to aid visualisation, equipment for minimally invasive ophthalmic surgeries, diverse choices of contact lenses and eyewear and innovative devices to assist with visual impairment.
Rising numbers of patients and technological advancements mean that developers of ophthalmic medical equipment are able to offer innovative solutions to all types of eye ailments. Top-quality manufacturers provide equipment that is supported by skilled service teams in order to meet this growing market. Products that work to high degrees of efficiency and precision, combined with the clinical skills of the doctors and hospital staff, have resulted in increased care and outcomes for patients.