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Utility of video-fundoscopy and prospects of portable stereo-photography of the ocular fundus in neurological patients



Proper evaluation of ocular fundi is an integral part of neurological examination. Unfortunately, neurology residents are increasingly uncomfortable performing fundoscopy and interpreting findings because of diminishing skills and lack of experience. This became more prominent during the COVID-19 pandemic as fundoscopy requires proximity to the patient. With the recent dramatic improvement of smartphone cameras, fundus photography using the PanOptic Ophthalmoscope (Welch Allyn, Skaneateles Falls, NY) with a smartphone adapter offered an alternative to direct fundoscopic examination. We present the first experience with our own design of a universal smartphone adapter.


This is a single-center case series, consecutive for a single user and certain presenting neurological symptoms, which is aimed to evaluate the feasibility and practicality of a new, universal PanOptic smartphone adapter. Presenting symptoms included headache, ocular symptoms, seizure, or encephalopathy. We used 3D modeling and printing techniques to create the adapter. We also developed a methodology of capturing stereoscopic images of the optic disc using a single smartphone camera, but the method was not systematically evaluated in this paper.


Here we present our initial experience of fundus video/photography in patients, who presented with encephalopathy, headache, seizure, vision loss, and other ocular symptoms. Fundoscopic abnormalities were discovered in 11 out of 100 patients. Some were incidental findings and were unrelated to the presentation. In one case, fundoscopy played a critical role in establishing the correct diagnosis.


Our custom-designed smartphone adapter allowed obtaining high-quality video and photo recordings using PanOptic Ophthalmoscope. The acquisition of high-quality photos enables a high-yield diagnostic tool and allows revisiting the image in the patient's chart. Improvement of smartphone cameras opens vast horizons for stereo-fundoscopy and 3D reconstruction of the ocular fundus without using sophisticated and costly equipment. Microscopic eye movements allow taking snapshots of two side-by-side photos for 3D reconstruction and stereoscopic image viewing, which is the next level of optic disc assessment.

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