Washington Patent of the Month – March 2024

The latest innovation in optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology is set to revolutionize the way we monitor retinal health. Developed by Acucela Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd., this miniaturized and mobile OCT system offers compactness, portability, and precision like never before.

Traditionally, monitoring retinal thickness required frequent visits to healthcare providers, making it inconvenient and expensive for patients. Acucela’s compact OCT system changes the game by enabling in-home and mobile monitoring. With this system, patients can measure their retinal thickness regularly, empowering them to take control of their eye health.

What sets Acucela’s OCT system apart is its compact design and advanced technology. Equipped with a vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) light source, this system emits a light beam comprising multiple wavelengths. The light is directed into the eye, generating an interference signal that allows precise measurement of retinal thickness.

One of the key features of Acucela’s OCT system is its ability to vary the emission wavelength of the VCSEL over a wide range. By driving the VCSEL beyond its specified maximum wavelength range, the system extends its measurement capabilities while maintaining a compact form factor. This means that the system can accurately detect changes in retinal thickness that are smaller than its resolution value, ensuring reliable and precise measurements.

The compact OCT system is designed for ease of use and portability. Patients can hold the system in their hand or mount it to a table stand, allowing for flexible and convenient measurement sessions. The system’s housing is lightweight and durable, making it suitable for everyday use and travel.

In addition to its compactness and precision, Acucela’s OCT system is calibrated for each patient, ensuring accurate measurements tailored to individual needs. This calibration process involves comparing measurements with a clinical reference system and adjusting the system accordingly.

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