As automated refracting technology improved, automated refractors became more reliable and easier to utilize, ushering in a new movement of refractive capabilities. The newest advancement could be the automated refracting system, a group of equipment including an autorefractor and a phoropter that allows refractions to be used and automatically transferred for subjective refraction.
This technology enables doctors to see more patients each day and eliminates the chance of human transcription error.
Automated refracting technology can be classified into three main categories: automated objective refractors with or without visual acuity capability, fully auto refractors and keratometers systems with subjective capabilities, and wavefront refractors.
Though not widely embraced as replacements for traditional refraction, automated refractors are gaining popularity as screening devices for kids and nonverbal patients. Many clinical trials require data to be used by automated refractors, citing their consistent readings without operator influence. A few of the newer models of automated refractors include the RM-8900 from Topcon Medical Systems (Paramus, N.J.), the RK600 from Reichert (Depew, N.Y.), and the EPIC and TRS from Marco Ophthalmics (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Fully automated refracting systems differ from automated refractors in a single respect. These automated refractors can be electronically connected to digital phoropters, Lensometers, and chart projectors, giving clinicians the capability to refine the outcome obtained subjectively. By working with the in-patient, clinicians make certain that the best possible refraction can be reached personally. One particular model using this technology is Topcon’s KR-8000PA, an automated refractor connected to the CV-5000 phoropter.
Wavefront refractors can detect lower- and higher-order aberrations and are thought the future of automated refractors. Providing accurate results for nearly all patients, wavefront refractors work by objectively quantifying all aberrations of the eye, even those struggling to be measured in the past. The Z-View Aberrometer from Ophthonix (Vista, Calif.) and the 3-D Wave aberrometer from Marco are examples. The 3-D Wave connects to the EPIC or TRS to offer the HD Eye Exam.
Automated refractors can “allow you to get in the ballpark” to help you perform manual refraction using the data from the automated refractor as a kickoff point, Alex Crinzi, OD, said within an interview with PCON.
Automated refractors are specifically useful when screening children, nonresponsive individuals, or people that have dementia. “No response is essential from the in-patient,” Dr. Crinzi said. “With nonverbal people, it’s a great instrument to have the ability to get a notion of what’s going on,” he said.