Touchless Technology Could Enable Early Detection and Treatment of Eye Diseases

Touchless Technology Could Enable Early Detection and Treatment of Eye Diseases

A non-contact laser imaging system could help doctors diagnose and treat eye diseases that cause blindness much earlier than is now possible, Science Daily reports.

The new technology, developed by engineering researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada, is designed to detect signs of major blinding diseases in retinal blood and tissue that typically go unseen until it is too late to stop them.

With current testing methods, diseases like age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma — which have no symptoms in their early stages — are usually diagnosed only after vision is irreversibly affected.

“We’re optimistic that our technology, by providing functional details of the eye such as oxygen saturation and oxygen metabolism, may be able to play a critical role in early diagnosis and management of these blinding diseases,” said Parsin Haji Reza, director of the PhotoMedicine Labs at Waterloo.

Patented technology at the core of the new system is known as photoacoustic remote sensing (PARS). It uses multicolored lasers that almost instantly image human tissue without touching it.

When used for eyes, the non-invasive, non-contact approach dramatically improves both patient comfort and the accuracy of test results.

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