How we took the ophthalmic microscope to the next level

Interview with Oscar Portilla, Product Manager at Leica Microsystems

To support surgical decisions and ultimately deliver the best outcomes, ophthalmic surgeons need to have as much visual information as possible. With ever evolving technology, and often restricted budgets, surgeons and hospitals want to be sure that an investment into a new ophthalmic microscope delivers excellent visualization and digital imaging options, not only today, but in the longer term. In this interview, Oscar Portilla Product Manager at Leica Microsystems explains how the product development team addressed these needs when creating the Proveo 8 ophthalmic microscope.

What was your objective when developing the Proveo 8 ophthalmic microscope?

Oscar Portilla: In the medical division our purpose is to support surgeons in their goal of achieving the best patient outcomes, by giving them the clear visualization they need during surgery. This means, of course, quality optics and illumination, but today digital imaging technologies are also playing an increasingly important supporting role in ophthalmology. So we took the ophthalmic microscope to the next level, not only making sure it provides outstanding optical performance, but also transforming it into an ophthalmic imaging platform that easily integrates digital technologies. In addition, we wanted to come up with a solution that gave surgeons and hospitals flexibility with regards to their investment. So we made sure the Proveo ophthalmic platform is equally effective for anterior and posterior procedures, and also allows the possibility to upgrade at any time in the future.

How did you enhance the optical performance of the Proveo 8 microscope

Oscar Portilla: We added two new optical innovations into the Proveo 8 microscope which enhance the optical performance for both anterior and posterior surgery: FusionOptics technology and CoAx4 illumination. Until now, an increased depth of field was only possible by reducing resolution. Leica developed the FusionOptics technology to overcome this challenge. It works by capturing different information from each of the two optical beam paths: one beam path captures high resolution and the other high depth of field. The surgeon’s brain then easily merges this information for one high-contrast, detailed view over an expanded area. CoAx4 illumination uses four individual beam paths from two LED lamps each entering the patient’s eye at a perpendicular angle to the retina. The result is a bright red reflex which remains consistent throughout all steps of cataract surgery. 

How did you turn the microscope into a flexible, upgradeable imaging platform?

Oscar Portilla: We designed the Proveo 8 microscope with open architecture and a new larger tower. This gives the surgeon and hospital the option to easily integrate digital imaging and recording technologies at any time while maintaining a clean, streamlined appearance, without visible cables. Today IOL guidance software, visualization and documentation in 2D and 3D can easily be added, and in the near future intrasurgical Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) will also be available. 

How can surgeons and hospitals be sure of their investment?

Oscar Portilla: We are also committed to developing new digital technologies or partnering with leading manufactures to integrate their solutions into the Proveo platform going forward, making it an investment that hospitals can be sure will meet their needs in the long term.