With COVID-19 dominating news headlines and showing no signs of abating soon, caution is the name of the game in any medical practice. We know the virus spreads very easily, so any and all precautionary measures are useful in combating the spread.
Life can’t simply come to a standstill — especially for those who require routine medical checkups to maintain their health. Some glaucoma sufferers, for example, need to have their intraocular pressure (IOP) checked as often as every week for proper management. Even once the condition is under control, patients will need to get tested several times a year. And — just as a general precaution — people over 40 should have their IOP tested at least once a year.
Researchers believe that the coronavirus can enter the body through the eyes — a concept that understandably worries patients and doctors alike. And since the virus seems to be able to survive on surfaces for quite a while, any medical device that touches the eyes can be risky. What to do?
The Diaton Tonometer
Diaton (DevelopAll Inc., Staten Island, New York, U.S.) has created a unique solution to this dilemma: a tonometer that can measure IOP without touching the cornea or mucus membrane. Pretty nifty, right?
In contrast to standard tonometers, the Diaton Tonometer measures IOP over the eyelid. The eyelid protects the eye from contact. Preventing direct contact with the eye reduces the risk of spreading not only the coronavirus, but also any other pathogen as well.
What’s more, the Diaton Tonometer does not use a traditional air puff. An air puff can potentially spread aerosolized virus droplets in tears, contaminating air in the room — a legitimate concern for everyone involved. A combination of no puff and no contact ensures the lowest possible risk of viral transmission.
Diaton’s Tonometer continues to give highly accurate readings in either a sitting or supine position. Because it’s puff-free, it’s painless and doesn’t cause irritation. Crucially, using the tonometer is fast — the process takes a matter of seconds.
Peace of Mind for Doctor and Patient
Using the Diaton Tonometer can give doctors a clear conscience that they’ll be reducing the risk of infection. And doctors know that spreading infections isn’t just a lousy thing to do — it can potentially lead to devastating lawsuits.
Patients will likely be reassured by the non-contact procedure — making it easier to get them to actually come in for appointments. In this strange time in which people are easily spooked, they’ll appreciate the peace of mind that comes with this safe procedure.
Doctors will need every advantage they can muster in this uncertain near future. Businesses of all varieties will suffer, and doctors who make their patients feel safe will likely have more patients — making innovations like the Diaton Tonometer a win for everyone.