While we knew the potential of our device, we had yet to send it into the field to test its capabilities with darkly-pigmented eyes. The opportunity arose via Dr. Dan Alter, an ophthalmologist practicing in Illinois and the president of the nonprofit Foundation for Ophthalmological Care from the United States (FOCUS). He not only provides direct patient care to the Haitian population, but also trains and equips the Haitian medical staff at the Hôpital d l’Universite d’Etat d’Haiti (HUEH), known in English as the State University Hospital of Haiti, and at remote sites, in order to better serve their community.
Dr. Alter took a RetiVue Portable Widefield Imaging System prototype with him on his mission trip to Haiti in April 2021. Within ten minutes of opening the carry-on size case, Dr. Alter and Chief Resident Dr. Shakespeare Saintil were able to take crisp images using the RetiVue infant model eye, designed specifically for training purposes (Photo 1). After practicing with the model eye, both ophthalmologists got to work imaging Haitian infants’ retinas, while RetiVue Founder & CEO Dr. Paul Yates observed real-time via secure internet feed in Virginia.
The RetiVue Portable Widefield Imaging System can run on battery power for a number of hours and store photos locally without internet connection, so the frequent interruptions in the hospital’s electricity did not interrupt the screenings.
With the ability to image the development of blood vessels in high detail, obtaining clear imaging of the periphery of the retina, multiple physicians in the US were able to consult with Drs. Alter and Saintil regarding treatment of infants with vision-threatening ROP in Haiti. (click for more information on ROP)
Dr. Alter commented that the RetiVue system allowed them to image fine vessels that were not well-appreciated on their manual exam with binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy. Additional US retina specialists were consulted using the RetiVue images to confirm disease improvement and help guide further monitoring of this baby.
As can be seen in Figure 1, with competitor devices, image quality is insufficient to allow for this level of disease monitoring (Figure 2C). In Dr. Alter’s worlds, the RetiVue System is a “game changer for remote screening and documentation. Portable and takes great photos.”
We’re excited to continue working with FOCUS in Haiti. In the process of assisting them in their important work, Drs. Alter and Saintil have been instrumental in the fine-tuning of our imaging system as we prepare for a product release within the upcoming year.