The ophthalmic community was quick to embrace digital imaging for fluorescein and ICG angiography in the mid 1980’s. The rapid pace of improvements in resolution, processing speed, measurement tools, color reproduction and overall image quality fueled a steady transition to digital imaging over the next two decades.
Digital imaging provides many advantages over traditional film-based photography. Computer technology offers a variety of powerful tools that can be used to enhance diagnostic information, share images across computer networks, and prepare them for academic presentation and publication. Ophthalmic digital images can be enhanced in image-editing software to adjust brightness, contrast, color balance and sharpness. Computer measurement tools aid the detection and quantification of pathologic features of the eye.
The computer monitor can display an image of the eye that is larger and easier to see than the small frame of a 35mm slide, enhancing patient education opportunities. Image files can be stored on computer hard drives, retrieved by image database programs and archived to servers or removable storage media. Digital photographs can be stored in PACS systems and integrated with Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems. From there, photographs can easily be emailed, displayed on web pages, imported into PowerPoint presentations and printed on on high quality inkjet or laser printers. Digital technology has truly revolutionized the way that we acquire and share ophthalmic images.
Take a look at the following pages for information on digital imaging in ophthalmology: