An inexpensive tool for routine fundus examination at primary eye care centres
Conventional fundus photography uses a fundus camera. It is very expensive and found only in tertiary care eye hospitals. If changes in the retina, due to diabetic retinopathy, and changes in optic disc, due to glaucoma, can be detected early, treatment will prevent further loss of vision. To provide an inexpensive tool for the routine examination of the fundus at primary eye care centres, we use a simple attachment to mount a modern digital camera on a slit lamp. Using the slit lamp and a 78 or 90 dioptre lens we can get good fundus pictures. The arrangement is so simple that a trained paramedic can take the picture, copy it onto a computer, and transmit it to a retina specialist through email for further examination and follow up action that may be required.
The picture shown in Figure 1 was taken at the Bodinayakanur Vision Centre and was transmitted to Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai. The picture was taken by Dr Veerabhadhra Rao (Retina Fellow) while examining a patient at the Vision Centre. The attachment described was built in the instruments maintenance laboratory, with Dr Rao giving the necessary suggestions for improvement at various stages of development.