Published May 15, 2012
Volume 20, Number 5

Clarity Medical Systems Completes Russian RetCam Implementation  
Device Has Become Predominant Tool in Pediatric Imaging Used to Identify Diseases of the Eye 

Clarity’s staff posed last year with the 1,000th RetCam
manufactured by the company. (Photo courtesy of
Clarity Medical Systems.)

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

With the recent implementation of a large-scale RetCam digital imaging system program in the Russian Federation, Hacienda’s Clarity Medical Systems has taken another notable stride forward in standardizing newborn eye imaging and combating blindness.
Every year, close to 10 million premature infants worldwide are born at risk for pediatric ocular diseases. Of all the senses, sight is by far the most significant in a youngster’s acquisition of knowledge, making vision impairment a serious impediment to childhood development.

Clarity Medical’s RetCam has become a standard in pediatric imaging. Creating high-quality digital images of the external (such as facial profile, ears, head, and orbits), anterior, and posterior segments of infant eyes, RetCam allows physicians to determine if infants have, or are suspected of having, pediatric ocular diseases.

“It is the only medical device that provides a wide-field digital image of the retina with a simple point-and-shoot, hand-held camera with a range of different lenses,” explains Keith Mullowney, Clarity President and CEO.

RetCam produces brilliant, full-color images that present physicians with “objective, interpretable details of structural ophthalmic elements” for review and follow-up. The images also serve as an excellent educational tool for hospital staff and families of newborns. For premature infants who require a long stay in a healthcare facility, RetCam images can be compared over time to help physicians determine the progression or regression of ophthalmic diseases. In addition, some hospitals have expanded the use of their RetCam Systems and are now capturing digital images of all newborn eyes.

In Russia, Clarity RetCam Systems have been deployed in special care centers established in 42 of the country’s 83 states. In November 2011 then-President Dmitry Medvedev personally signed the requisition himself as a commitment to newborn health. The RetCam Systems will be used in care facilities handling prematurely-born infants at risk for eye diseases such as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), the leading cause of blindness in newborns.

“Each year 233,000 children are born prematurely in Russia,” Mullowney points out. In response, the Russian Ministry of Health decided to create specialty newborn birth centers in 42 provinces. “This represents the largest ‘program’ to date for RetCam deployment. All 42 RetCam Systems have been distributed and installed. There are still some systems for which physicians are receiving ongoing training to enhance their outcomes with better imaging.”

In conjunction with the RetCam installation, at the end of March two Clarity officers, Executive Vice President Mike Napier and Chief Medical Officer Barry J. Linder, MD, participated in a roundtable discussion on ROP held by the Russian Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development. Their presentations, essentially Master Class training sessions for enhanced RetCam skills, were conducted in three cities and attended by Ministry of Health officials, heads of hospitals, directors of departments, and  physicians--ophthalmologists and pediatricians.

A Hacienda tenant since 2003, Clarity is actively conducting additional research programs in imaging, informatics, and guidance systems that save and improve vision. Its current development focus in refractive eye care in the areas of vision correction. All Clarity products are all built at the company’s Pleasanton headquarters at 5775 West Las Positas Boulevard.

For more information, visit www.claritymsi.com.

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