29 million people in the United States have diabetes.
Of that population, many are at risk for diabetic eye disease. Which includes the following conditions: diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataracts, and glaucoma.
All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness.
Fundus cameras are either Mydriatic (requiring the eyes to be dilated) or Non-mydriatc (no dilation required.) If your eyes are dilated it can hinder your ability to do basic tasks for several hours after the examination.
A low cost solution in health clinics and general practitioner offices would provide better access for patients to receive regular screenings. Regular exams are key to early detection of diabetic eye diseases.
Our team set out to find a way to leverage the technology at our disposal into a non-mydriatic system that balances cost while also minimizing training. We decided that a mobile table top unit would be the best way to achieve ease of use and quality image capturing.
What makes something look like an imaging device? Typically it is a cylindrical lens, as this is something that is common of almost all devices that take images. In some way the above products indicate that they can be picked up and then possibly be used to look at something or have a medical purpose. These subtle hints are things that can be understood, without having any further knowledge of the device.
Early explorations into form and user interaction of the camera were focused on it being non-invasive for patients and on the ease of use for technicians.
Quick 3D models in foam, SolidWorks, and Fusion 360 helped to establish a sense of scale.
I took apart an old table top unit to better understand how lower end models operate. To the right is a functioning model I designed and built. Bottom left are cameras that I practiced taking images with at RIT’s Imaging Lab.
A simplified form reduces complexity in the user experience for the technician. Touch points for the user to adjust the machine both in analog form (the control knobs) or through the on-board tablet shorten training times.
Patients can see through the center of the device to the technician establishing a more personal experience that is directed at being less invasive.
I took a full scale model to the Culver Medical Center to test with nurses and technicians. I used a questionnaire and a mock eye exam to gather user experience testing. In conversation with users I discovered ways to make improvements to the headrest.
Mock user testing above.
This project was a multidisciplinary team effort. The work I have shown is my own and was used in conjunction with the work done by electrical, mechanical, optical, and biomedical engineers over the course of a year.