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Ge Song, Kengyeh K. Chu, Sanghoon Kim, Michael Crose, Brian Cox, Evan T. Jelly, J. Niklas Ulrich, Adam Wax; First Clinical Application of Low-Cost OCT. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(3):61. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.3.61.
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We present the design of a new low-cost optical coherence tomography (OCT) system and compare its retinal imaging capabilities to a standard commercial system through a clinical study.
A spectral-domain OCT system was designed using various cost-reduction techniques to be low-cost, highly portable, and completely stand-alone. Clinical imaging was performed on 120 eyes of 60 patients (60 eyes of normal volunteers and 60 eyes with retinal disease) using both the low-cost OCT and a Heidelberg Engineering Spectralis OCT. Contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) was measured from resulting images to determine system performance.
The low-cost OCT system was successfully applied to clinical imaging of the retina. The system offers an axial resolution of 8.0 μm, a lateral resolution of 19.6 μm, and an imaging depth of 2.7 mm for a 6.6-mm field of view in the X and Y directions. Total cost is $5037, a significant size reduction compared to current commercial higher performance systems. Mean CNR value of low-cost OCT images is only 5.6% lower compared to the Heidelberg Spectralis.
The images captured with the low-cost OCT were of adequate resolution and allowed for clinical diagnostics. It offers comparable performance as a retinal screening tool at a fraction of the cost of current commercial systems.
Low-cost OCT has the potential to increase access to retinal imaging.
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