Assessment of a smartphone-based camera for fundus imaging in animals

Vet Ophthalmol. 2017 Jan;20(1):89-94. doi: 10.1111/vop.12350. Epub 2016 Jan 18.


Objective: To assess the use of an optical device (D-EYE; Si14 S.p.A.) attached to a modern smartphone (iPhone 5; Apple Inc.) for imaging the fundus in small animals.

Animals studied: Five dogs, five cats, and five rabbits with clear media were imaged using a prototype of the D-EYE.

Procedure: The optical device was composed of lenses, polarizing filters, a beam splitter, a diaphragm, and mirrors, attached to a smartphone via a metal shell. Images were obtained 20 min after pupil dilation with topical 0.5% tropicamide in a darkened room, to ensure maximum pupillary dilation. Focus was set to the infinite when the autofocus was overwhelmed. Light intensity was adapted to each animal via the application (minimum light intensity for imaging the tapetal region, maximum light intensity for imaging the nontapetal region). Both still images and video sequences were recorded for each animal.

Results: Posterior segment structures were visible in all animals: optic nerve head, tapetum lucidum (when present), nontapetal region, retinal vessels, and choroidal vessels (when the retinal pigment epithelium and the choroidal pigmentation were discreet). Focal light artifacts were common when photographing the tapetum lucidum. Recording videos allowed the visualization of dynamic phenomena.

Conclusions: The D-EYE assessed appears to be an easy means of obtaining images of the posterior segment structures.

Keywords: D-EYE; camera; fundus; portable; smartphone.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Dogs
  • Eye Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Eye Diseases / veterinary
  • Fundus Oculi*
  • Photography / instrumentation
  • Photography / methods
  • Photography / veterinary
  • Posterior Eye Segment / diagnostic imaging
  • Rabbits
  • Smartphone* / instrumentation