(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs — or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A Forward Migration Kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as dentistry, accounting, etc.)
This week we’re starting our three-part series on ophthalmology/optometry software for the Mac OS.
Accommodata, an Apple-based solution developer, has created a patented high-tech solution for ophthalmologists that provides interactive environment for patient care and testing. It’s the PORTAL Vision Examination Station, and was developed over the course of more than six years by Accommodata and eye doctors from across the country.
Accommodata President Paul Podnar explains in an
Apple SciTech article
that with the help of the Mac, “We replaced many different tests and systems with an integrated product utilizing a simple, easy-to-use Mac interface.”
“Many systems” might be an understatement; a complete battery of vision tests, fixation devices, room lighting control systems, nurse call lights, interoffice communication systems, and patient education represent only a partial list of items the PORTAL Examination Station replaces in the typical ophthalmologist’s office.
Working from a flat-panel touch-screen display, the PORTAL Examination Station enables doctors to use the graphics capabilities of the Power Mac. With a press of a button, the system will play desktop movies to inform patients of important medical issues and, for the kids, play cartoons that entertain and educate at the same time. Doctors can also capture both digital images and video to share with consulting specialists, according to the Apple story. The folks at Accommodata say the PORTAL offers the following benefits:
Doctors have all the controls at their fingertips when they are conducting a patient examination.
Multiple control monitors throughout the office enable a doctor to monitor patient treatments from different areas of the clinic.
Multimedia capabilities provide images and video for patient education, entertainment, and even consultation from another doctor.
“Apple hardware is extremely reliable,” Podnar told Apple. “It always works. It offers the most stable OS for our needs, and having a computer as multimedia capable as the Mac, we are able to do a lot more than just vision tests.”
The system lets doctors attach a video camera to a slit-lamp microscope for examinations of the inner eye. And through the Tele-Medicine Suite, the doctor can send patient images to a peer for consultation. Doctors at the other end of the Net can view the images in 3D with a special set of glasses, replicating the original depth and giving doctors an accurate view of the patient’s symptoms, according to the SciTech article.
PORTAL consists of an active matrix flat-panel touch-screen monitor placed on the practitioner’s desktop that controls a second Patient viewing monitor. There are fewer distractions for the patient because all distance tests and media are consolidated onto the patient monitor, according to Podnar.
Clinicians control all acuity chart and system features through the touch-screen interface supported by PORTAL Cognitive Map Software. There’s no need to be familiar with computers as all system features and tests are controlled by icons representing tests and system features, Podnar said.
You can select the optotypes you wish to test with and also adjust maximum number of optotypes presented in a single line. Sizes range from 20/15 to 20/500. Units can be set to Snellen or international standards.
Patient timers are customized for your office. The audio dictation feature (which can be customized for an individual user) lets the practitioner record a digital voice note to be available for review at any networked Technician Station. Notes can be sent to a Technician Station for transcription and printing or can be reviewed in a private office.
The Examination Station can be configured to capture still images and 30-second video clips from any NTSC video source. Cameras can include color slit lamp cameras, hand-held cameras and eyepiece cameras. They’re controlled from the touch screen interface and the optional foot pedals or hand controller. Captured images can be viewed full-screen or in a summary window.
Plus, images are available for transfer to other PORTAL locations with the TelePractice features. Annotations can also be included.
produces data and image management software for ophthalmologists and related health managers. There are two current applications, with a Web conference forum and a mutation testing guide due to be released in the fall. All units are designed to operate together or independently, and will be fully functional on both the Mac and Windows platforms.
Clinical Guide sets up patient records and automatically establishes links with personnel data. It records and reviews progress of both ophthalmology and oncology treatment and test results. The software was designed to accept lab results directly and report on them.
Clinical Guide references and archives high and low resolution retinal images; tracks any local tumor treatment and chemotherapy; summarizes status of eyes; and prints all operating room, eye clinic and oncology treatment cycle reports, as well as treatment summaries.
Clinical Trial Guide records recruitment of patients into clinical trial study according to the trial protocol. It collects eligibility and consent information and interprets them and reports in formats compatible with CETAP requirements.
Also available from i2ye is Mutation Testing Guide, which will provide relational database for patient and family details. MTG will draw relationships with personnel records; calculate mutation tests required, laboratory worksheet details, and results; integrate the lab work with the invoicing system; and prepare and print reports for ophthalmologists, geneticists, laboratory personnel, patients and administrative staff.
Freiburg Visual Acuity Test
Freiburg Visual Acuity Test, which is compatible with Mac OS 8.6, assesses visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. It’s a free computer program that uses the graphics capabilities of the Mac (built-in dithering and anti-aliasing) and psychometric methods to provide automated, self-paced measurement of the visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.
Next week: part II.
And if you know of a Forward Migration story, please
send it my way.