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Sometimes you find the unexpected


Deborah Greaves
BAppSc(Optom) MAppSc(Optom)

Optomap 200DX Ultra-Widefield ­Digital Retinal Imaging System




BigW Vision was established eight years ago and today, we have almost 50 branches across four states. Although we are located within a discount department store, we still maintain the philosophy of providing good quality products and high standards of patient care.

We were looking to introduce retinal imaging into our branches. While considering our options, we were impressed with the Optomap 200DX Ultra-Widefield Digital Retinal Imaging System and its wide field and clarity of image. If we were to implement this technology into our business, we also wanted to ensure that it would fit within our business model. Twelve months ago, we trialled the Optomap in three of our branches. The results were so pleasing that we have purchased the original three Optomaps and ordered three more.

We charge $49 per patient and offer this imaging as an optional procedure. We explain to the patient that the scan is not covered under Medicare but once the benefits are made clear, most patients are happy to take up the offer.

The Optomap has been particularly useful in detecting early stage and peripheral pathology. In particular, the Optomap is helpful in the detection of early diabetic retinopathy, retinal holes and tears, and early macular changes. It has also been useful for finding unexpected conditions in the peripheral retina such as holes and melanomas.


A 44-year-old man attended for a routine check-up. He was asymptomatic but with the Optomap, we detected what appeared to be a right retinal hole (above). Ophthalmological review revealed it to be lattice degeneration with small amount of avulsed retinal tissue overlying it. He had laser retinopexy to the area and remains 6/6 and symptom free.

The Optomap is also excellent as a show-and-tell instrument, enabling us to give the patient a better understanding of their condition. Having an in-built library of images also gives the flexibility of showing the patient possible progression and scenarios for their condition.

Our patients and our team members have benefited from having access to this technology. As with any new technology, it has taken practice for our team to become competent in taking the images but we have found there are few limitations in using the Optomap retinal scanner.

We have had the Optomap 200DX Ultra-Widefield Digital Retinal Imaging systems for only a short time but they are a very welcome addition to our practices.

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