Purpose: Our purpose was to develop a robotic remotely operated stereo slit lamp system allowing three-dimensional stereo viewing and recording of the patient's examination via local area network, Internet, and satellite.
Methods: A commercial slit lamp was modified to accept motors and servos to permit control of all optical and mechanical components of the device. The custom graphical user interface with dual high-resolution real-time stereoscopic imaging, control/position indicators, overview video, and audio were transmitted via local area network, Internet, and satellite. Under University of Miami Institutional Review Board authorization, Internet connectivity enabled multiple examiners to simultaneously view and control the slit lamp and to collaboratively discuss diagnosis and treatment options. The remote clinicians used a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to view and control the slit lamp.
Results: The network, Internet, satellite-connected system was controllable from the United States, Europe, and Canada while acquiring high-resolution, real-time video in all subjects. Control of the slit lamp through Ethernet, WiFi, and 4G exhibited total system latencies of 464 ± 58, 483 ± 64, and 870 ± 66 milliseconds when transmitting within the continent, and Ethernet control exhibited a latency of 606 ± 130 milliseconds when transmitting between continents. High- and low-magnification images of healthy volunteers were acquired by a remote clinician.
Conclusions: The robotic remotely operated stereo slit lamp system allows three-dimensional stereo viewing and recording of the patient's examination via local area network, Internet, and satellite.
Translational relevance: The robotic remotely controlled stereo slit lamp system enables remote examination of human subjects.
Keywords: remote controlled; robotic; slit lamp; stereo; telemedicine; teleophthalmology.