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Phoenix Technology Group Partners with Advantech for Support in the Development of a Revolutionary Retinal Imaging Platform

Date: 5/29/2018 12:00:00 AM

Established in 2007 by Bert Massie, inventor of the first wide-angle, hand-held digital camera for pediatric retinal imaging, Phoenix Technology Group is an imaging solutions provider based in California. As a pioneer of the retinal imaging technology market, with two established product lines targeted to researchers and clinicians, the company is “helping to fight blindness, from bench to beside.”

Phoenix Technology Group’s journey began with creation of the Phoenix MICRON platform for in vivo imaging of animals for eye-related research. The MICRON camera was distributed among universities, hospitals, and researchers investigating eye diseases and treatments. As a high-powered microscope, delivered in a modular platform that supports multiple imaging modalities, the MICRON camera technology is designed for mapping the geography of the eye, viewing the structure of the retina using optical coherence tomography, and assessing how the eye responds to light through electrophysiology. The quality of images produced using this technology have set a new standard for retinal imaging, resulting in the Phoenix MICRON platform dominating the research market.

Following that success, Phoenix Technology Group was contacted by doctors requesting a purpose-built, next-generation camera for human clinical ophthalmology applications. Clear, high-quality images are crucial to medical professionals for making accurate diagnoses and identifying the best treatment options. Moreover, compared to manual examinations, use of an imaging platform allows clinicians to document the eye, study changes over time, and maintain accurate records for liability purposes, thereby improving the overall level of patient care.


Leveraging the company’s existing technology, two years later Phoenix Technology Group released a revolutionary wide-field retinal imaging camera for clinicians – the Phoenix ICON platform. The Phoenix ICON retinal imaging platform is a cart-based system that features a hand-held camera and Phoenix’s newly patented imaging technology, which combines direct annular illumination, optics, and sensor technology to deliver stunning high-contrast, high-quality, high-resolution images.

The camera hand piece is equipped with interchangeable LED-based light sources (white and blue light) suitable for bright field and fluorescein angiography imaging, allowing users to easily switch between imaging modalities. With the provision of both light intensity and gain controls, users also have the flexibility to adjust light levels to optimize imaging of various regions and structures while ensuring patient comfort. Darkly pigmented retinas especially benefit from the direct illumination, reinvented optics, and imaging software. Furthermore, the inclusion of a convenient foot pedal and touchscreen interface for capturing video or still images that are stored on the cart computer for later review helps streamline the entire image acquisition process. 

    

Collaboration for Innovation

Cleared for general ophthalmic imaging of corneal, retinal, and external structures of the eye, the Phoenix ICON camera is lightweight, can operate for up to 6 hours on battery power, and includes a range of easy-to-use features, such as real-time zoom.

The idea for the mobile imaging workstation arose from listening to the needs of healthcare providers. Medical professionals are experiencing increasing stress due to heavy workloads and personnel shortages; thus, they need solutions that increase their effectiveness. Although recent technological advances are changing the existing treatment and healthcare delivery paradigm, achieving constant connectivity with devices that can be flexibly installed and employed at the point of care is a key challenge for the healthcare industry.

In an effort to address these needs, Phoenix Technology Group contacted Advantech to collaborate on developing a cart workstation solution for use in hospitals, medical treatment centers, and other healthcare facilities. Because both organizations had experience working with caregivers, hospitals, and healthcare organizations around the world, they understood that a convenient and easy-to-use solution was essential.

They required a mobile workstation solution that could be integrated with existing hospital information systems, including picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems, and electronic medical records (EMRs), to provide medical personnel with real-time access to patient images, examination results, and diagnosis/treatment information from any location within the hospital.

Accordingly, Advantech supplied its AMiS-50 medical cart workstation, which Phoenix Technology Group subsequently deconstructed, customized, and then integrated with the Phoenix ICON camera. Advantech produces products of the highest quality that are specifically designed for medical applications, which means they are certified to the highest medical standards for hygiene and safety.

In order to facilitate the delivery of healthcare services at patient besides and the point of care, one of the key design requirements for the workstation was ease of movement. The Phoenix ICON platform is lightweight, weighing approximately 100 lbs. less than legacy systems, and features large wheels casters that ensure easy transport. Considering its suitability for limited-space installations, the Phoenix ICON imaging platform features a modular design that enables flexible configuration and installation, making it ideal for use in a wide range of environments.

Indeed, the feedback received from doctors, nurses, and medical caregivers has been tremendously positive. Several medical practitioners commented how the resolution and clarity of the ICON platform is outstanding compared to legacy systems and superior to any other retinal imaging product on the market. In addition to unparalleled image quality, medical staff also highlighted the Phoenix ICON’s ease of movement and high-resolution touchscreen with support for gloved operation. These highly appreciated features make the platform easy to operate and convenient to transport around the hospital, ensuring high usability.

Strong Partnership for a Bright and Long-Lasting Future

The partnership between Phoenix Technology Group and Advantech promises a bright and long-lasting future of mutually beneficial innovation. As a trusted brand with years of experience providing intelligent scalable computing solutions, Advantech offers Phoenix Technology Group not only technical knowledge, after-sales support, industry contacts/sales leads, and expanded market coverage, but also opportunities for knowledge sharing and greater innovation.

Although Advantech’s cart is a key component of the Phoenix ICON imaging platform, the success can be largely attributed to its truly visionary technology. In 2017 alone, global distribution of the Phoenix ICON platform was expanded from 6 countries to 55 countries, with continued international expansion and increased sales volumes expected for the future. Moving forward, Phoenix Technology Group expects to continue development of the Phoenix ICON platform and its add-on modules.  

At present, the Phoenix ICON platform has been adopted by leading physicians, nurses, and ophthalmic photographers around the world. For more information regarding the Phoenix ICON platform, please visit www.phoenixtech.com/clinical.

About Phoenix Technology Group

Phoenix Technology Group (PTG) contributes to the fight to prevent blindness by providing physicians, clinicians, and researchers around the world with advanced technology to image and understand the eye. Founded by Bert Massie, Ph.D., inventor of the first digital camera for pediatric retinal imaging, our journey began with the creation of the Phoenix MICRON platform for in-vivo imaging of animals in eye research. Today, the MICRON platform is the standard for researchers around the world, combining bright field imaging, image-guided OCT, and focal and Ganzfeld ERG. Our breakthrough innovations with the Phoenix MICRON platform led to us to reinvent wide-field retinal imaging for human clinical applications, resulting in the recently launched Phoenix ICON product line. The Phoenix ICON platform is a revolutionary retinal imaging platform delivering high-contrast, high-resolution images, with quality you can see. You’ll find these breakthroughs inside the ICON platform: completely reinvented illumination, optics, and sensor technology, deployed on a modular platform that was designed from the ground-up for ease of use, reliability, and incredible image quality.

About Advantech

Founded in 1983, Advantech is a leading provider of trusted, innovative products, services, and solutions. Advantech offers comprehensive system integration, hardware, software, customer-centric design services, embedded systems, automation products, and global logistics support. We cooperate closely with our partners to provide complete solutions for a wide range of applications in diverse industries. Our mission is to enable an intelligent planet by developing automated and embedded computing products and solutions that facilitate smarter working and living. (Company website: www.advantech.com)