Birmingham Innovation in Eye Diagnosis

A collaboration between Birmingham City University and Birmingham City Hospital has produced a virtual reality tool which will enable medical students to conduct eye examinations which will greatly aid the early detection of conditions including diabetes and haemorrhages.

Using a mobile phone and a virtual reality headset, medical students will now be able to learn how to conduct eye examinations using the correct diagnostic procedures.

The current problem in effective eye examination is the difficulty of finding patients with the type of conditions that medial students need to become familiar with, plus the simple issue of patients experiencing discomfort when a doctor shines a bright light directly into their eyes.

This new technology will eradicate those problems, and allow medical students to become familiar with the full range of conditions that an eye examination may reveal, without the barrier of patient discomfort and a shortage of appropriate subjects with the right ailments.

Traditionally medical students have also been encouraged to practice their eye examination skills on healthy colleagues, who simply don’t suffer from any of the problems the examinations are meant to detect.

Dr Andrew Wilson, associate professor at Birmingham City University said:

“By creating this system we can give trainee doctors as much time as they need to familiarise themselves with how to perform the appropriate systematic processes, identify which signs indicate like diabetes or raised intracranial pressure, and eliminate the need for stand-in patients.”

The system was developed by Dr Wilson and Jake O’Connor, coders at Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Computing and Digital Technology in collaboration with Professor David Carruthers of Medical Director at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust.

Prof Carruthers said:

“This collaboration has helped to develop novel approaches to medial education that is popular amongst students. It allows them to simulate the process of ophthalmoscopic examination of the back of the eye in a systematic way.”

Originally published on The Business Desk. 

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