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Automated Ophthalmic Instruments

As ophthalmic technology improves, more and more automated pieces of ophthalmic equipment are coming onto the market. At this time, you can find automated refractorsspecular microscopescorneal topographersnon-contact tonometers and combined refractors and keratometers on the market.

  • But are these automated ophthalmic instruments trustworthy?
  • Will they catch the nuances of diagnosis that an experiences optometrist, ophthalmologist or optician could find with manual ophthalmic equipment?
  • There are many questions to ask and we want to offer as much information to our consumers as we can!

A lot of ophthalmic professionals are wary of using these new automated pieces of equipment, but studies have shown that the diagnostic results are not only just as good as those yielded from manual diagnostic equipment, but at times, superior. Additionally, you can find equipment that combines several useful ophthalmic instruments into one automated machine. For instance there are now automated refractors with keratometers integrated on top of the machine and integrated refractors and keratometers within the same piece of equipment.

If you are trying to determine a prescription for an individual, being able to assess the refractive error in a patient's eye and then immediately assessing any astigmatism can save you time and therefore money. If you are worried about the cost of a combine automated refractor and keratometer, remember that you'll need these pieces of equipment no matter what and if you calculate the cost of the pieces together and consider the time you'll save, you'll certainly see a return on your investment. Keratometers tend to run between $1500.00 and $2,000.00 while manual refractors can run around $4000.00. Automated refractors and keratometers can cost anywhere from around $5,000.00 (used) to $10,000 new with all features. If you consider your time saved, the investment is an easy decision to make.

If you are an ophthalmic surgeon, you need to consider the array of automated corneal topographers as well. This piece of equipment is essential to anyone being considered for refractive ophthalmic surgery and although they can be expensive, you do get what you pay for. If you spend top dollar you will get a top of the line corneal topographer, computer, monitor, printer and instrument table. If you don't have the budget to absorb that kind of expenditure, consider a standalone topographer with software that can integrate into your existing computer system. Most of these automated corneal topographers can also be integrated into your existing digital imaging equipment offering you the ability to truly assess every part of your patient's eye and offer the best care and diagnosis possible.

Finally, you may need to consider an automated specular microscope for your ophthalmic practice. This equipment can be particularly helpful in diagnosing problems with the cornea. If you conduct corneal transplants, having the ability to study the corneal endothelium in great detail is imperative since its deterioration is the number one cause of failure in corneal transplants. Additionally, if your patient's are primarily older men and women you may be diagnosing Fuch's endothelial dystrophy with greater frequency and this piece of ophthalmic equipment can help you do this more quickly. Obviously, hydration of the cornea is also critical to its overall condition and health and the automated specular microscope can effectively asses the condition of your patient's cornea quickly and effectively.

When making your buying decision you should consider the following criteria carefully:

  • What does your practice and current patient base need most in terms of advanced diagnostic ophthalmic equipment?
  • What is the budget you can invest in ophthalmic equipment?
  • How much time do you currently spend on manual diagnosis and how much time could you save with automated equipment?
  • How many more patients could you see if you could conduct your ophthalmic diagnosis more efficiently and how much revenue would that produce?
  • Would you attract more patients by using advanced technology in your ophthalmic practice?

If you have any further questions about automated ophthalmic equipment, please don't hesitate to call us here at

Additional Resources:

  • Automated Ophthalmic Equipment vs. Manual Ophthalmic Equipment
  • Automated Ophthalmic Equipment Feature Comparison
  • Traditional Tonometers vs. Non Contact Tonometers