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Images that awe patients


Ian Gutteridge

Hampton VIC


Topcon 3D OCT-1 Maestro


Device Technologies


An OCT had been on our wish list for some time, but available funds diverted to major alterations at our practice got in the way of that idea. In one respect, the delay was beneficial—trying to select one OCT over another is challenging and we used the time to investigate the major brands.

Our practice has a strong emphasis on disease detection and management with many diabetic patients, glaucoma suspects and elderly patients. After looking at various manufacturers, we felt that most OCTs would have the important basic functions to cover those bases.

Why did we go with the Maestro? Price was a consideration but not the only one. We were very impressed with two very user-friendly aspects of the Maestro, and this has been confirmed with our day-to-day use.

The operator functions are very easy to navigate—within a minute of instruction, anyone can acquire a reasonable macular or optic nerve scan. The finer points of obtaining excellent images is part of a normal and predictable learning curve, which we are each managing in our own way. From the patient’s point of view, the task is simple and with minimal subjective demands. The period of time where a patient must not blink, to avoid disrupting the scan, is surprisingly short and the operator can help by advising when the scan is about to be taken.

Each scan obviously generates a large amount of information. This can be daunting. Experience counts for a lot in navigating through this, as does studying the information in different layers and levels. Guidance and support from Device Technologies’ Joe Way—with after-hours tutorials—has allowed us to gain that experience quickly. It has been valuable to experiment with different scans and different analyses on the same patient.

For some time, our patients have been able to view great images of their own eyes through retinal photography. The built-in retinal camera allows for the OCT scan and retinal photography to occur at the same time, saving on time, effort and space—we have even dispensed with our previous retinal camera.

Patients are now in even greater awe of their own OCT images. They can share in our rationale behind doing a complex scan when the disc or macula is a bit odd. Equally, they share the relief when a scan shows, for example, a healthy retinal nerve fibre layer in an ocular hypertensive patient. There is great value for us in the pin-point correspondence of retinal points and OCT images. We have had no problem justifying the expenditure on the Maestro OCT. With three full-time practitioners and our range of patients, the biggest risk is that we will wear out the poor machine.

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