BBR proud to still be at forefront of cutting-edge technology

17 February 2017

As the only practice in Herefordshire to have an optos retinal scanner, BBR Optometry is delighted to learn that this pioneering technology is now celebrating 11 years since it was recognised with the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award.

BBR Optometry first invested in an optos back in 2012 so the practice could offer patients the most comprehensive eye examinations possible. With just one scan, the optos can show 80% of a retina compared to 15% with traditional scanners which really helps in early diagnosis of any potential health issues.

Nick Rumney, BBR chairman, says: “Today there are about 11,000 optos scanners worldwide and a staggering 70-100 million people have been scanned globally, potentially saving the sight of millions, including patients we have seen here in Herefordshire.

“The laser technology monitors any changes in the eye that would otherwise go undetected and we are proud to be able to offer our patients this service as early diagnosis will achieve the best outcomes if any health issues are found.

“It is hard to imagine now how we could carry out such comprehensive eye tests without optos but, as a practice, we never become complacent and have also invested in other new technologies.

“We were the first optometry practice to bring retinal imaging to the Hereford high street in 2000 with OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) which is a special scanner that creates a sort of optical ultrasound three dimensional image of the inside of the eye.

“OCT means we can actually see below the surface of the retina which is of profound importance in determining the precise diagnosis of visual problems and helping us guide patients on the treatment options possible.

“Then just last year we became only the 13th practice in the UK to have a DNEye scanner which takes a digital footprint of the eye to ensure every patient can achieve 100% of their vision potential,” he added. 

The optos was invented by Douglas Anderson after his son Leif lost sight in his left eye because a retinal detachment was diagnosed too late.

Douglas, who works as a medical technology designer, developed the optos to be a fast, non-intrusive whole-retina scanner, which was patient-friendly for all ages but would also give examiners a full view of the eye, unlike the partial glimpse which most machines provided at the time. 

The optos device then proved instrumental in saving Leif’s second eye when he had another retinal detachment at the age of 20.

Optos timeline:

1992: Douglas started work on optos after securing investment.

2000: First optos devices unveiled. 

2006: Optos wins Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award

2007: Optos received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

2008: Douglas Anderson named European Inventor of the Year. 

2012: BBR Optometry invests in first optos.

2016: Optos display installed in the National Museum of Scotland.

For more information about how we at BBR use optos and OCT in our eye examinations click here

You can also see the optos scanner being used in this video (go to 1.40) on our YouTube channel and hear optometrist Laura Nixon talk about the benefits of optos and OCT imaging for patients (go to 1.55 of this video).

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