Fundus Photography: The Uses and Importance of Quality Retinal Images

Fundus Photography

Fundus photography is a seemingly complex term for a process that is relatively simple, but incredibly important.

A visit to the eye doctor can involve getting a few tests performed. These tests run the gamut from pupil dilation; to an annual vision appointment; or that test that shoots a puff of air  into a patient’s eyes. Historically, fundus photography is a  test that is performed when a patient visits their ophthalmologist, and it is performed to catch eye pathologies before they become detrimental to a patient’s health.

But what if patients could get this important test done at their general practitioner’s office? And what if the  ability to have  this preventative test performed there meant catching a disease early that could eventually lead to blindness? 

Read on to learn about the importance of fundus photography, and how technology can help any size or any type of general physician’s practice implement this test into the check ups of their diabetic patients in order to catch eye pathologies earlier and prevent blindness.


What is Fundus Photography?

Fundus photography involves taking a picture of the retina. The retina is the neurosensory tissue at the back of the eye that is crucial in the process of turning the images we see when we look around into information for our brain to understand.


How is Fundus Photography Done?

Fundus photography is performed with a special camera tool known as a fundus camera. And, the actual fundus photography process is rather simple. Many new fundus cameras are handheld, so all the patient has to do is look straight into a lens attached to the fundus camera. A flash of light indicates the capturing of a fundus photograph.

The benefits of a handheld camera is that the camera itself can be moved to different locations easily and can accommodate patients with unique needs, such as those who are in a wheelchair. And, any employee who received the correct training can be a camera operator, further opening the ability to quickly, safely and efficiently provide annual diabetic exams to the underserved diabetic population. 


What Does Fundus Photography Show?

Fundus photography is used to detect and follow various eye pathologies. Diseases detectable with fundus photography include glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyes that causes nerve damage over time), macular edema (swelling in the central part of the interior of the eye), and diabetic retinopathy (bursting of the blood vessels in the eye). All of these diseases can lead to blindness if left untreated. 


What is Fundus Photography Used For?

Fundus photography is used to benefit both physicians and their patients. Fundus photography is a non-invasive, quick test that makes it possible for ophthalmologists and healthcare providers to quickly and safely analyze the retina and diagnose disease. Not to mention, fundus photography is an integral part of identifying and diagnosing diabetic retinopathy. 


Who Can Perform Fundus Photography?

With the special camera tool and IRIS’s digital retinal imaging software, any physician’s office, lab or pharmacy, HRA, hospital or health system can perform fundus photography and receive quick and accurate diagnoses for their patients. IRIS is a software solution that uses proprietary image enhancement technology to automatically enhance the fundus images taken during the process of fundus photography. 

The IRIS image enhancement software is an incredibly beneficial tool for the IRIS Reading Center interpreting providers when reviewing uploaded images for diabetic retinopathy. IRIS’s software technology strips images of their color and illuminates the vasculature which allows grading physicians to see hidden pathology in the image.


Fundus Photography for Diabetic Retinopathy

IRIS’s digital retinal imaging solution specifically aids in identifying diabetic retinopathy, a disease which is the leading cause of preventative blindness amongst working-age US adults. 

Since its inception, IRIS has helped save the lives of over 108,000 individuals. With a 92-95% gradability rate.  IRIS’s digital retinal imaging solution is one of the most effective things physicians can do to prevent preventable blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy.


Fundus Photography with Interpretation

However, IRIS isn’t just a camera and some software. The IRIS Reading Center is a group of over 120 board-certified eyecare providers  who receive and diagnose the uploaded  fundus images remotely.  This wide-spread network of IRC providers dramatically increases accessibility to retinal imaging through enabling exams to be diagnosed in all 50 States – a life changing ability that IRIS provides daily.

Adopting the IRIS technology means that any healthcare organization has the ability to take fundus images and quickly, safely and accurately read them. The end result is that more patients will receive preventative retinal exams  which will lead to less cases of late-stage diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases.

Are you ready to see how IRIS can transform your practice and allow you to give better care to your patients? Connect with us to learn more today.


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