Ted Smith MD, PhD: The Future of Retinal Imaging in AMD Detection


R. Theodore Smith, MD, PhD, discusses the importance of developing non-invasive technologies that can detect age-related macular degeneration earlier.

At the American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting 2018, R. Theodore Smith, MD, PhD, sat down with MD Magazine® to discuss how improving the quality of retinal imaging and designing new retinal cameras is an important element that could to earlier detection of age-related macular degeneration in the future.

Dr. Smith, a professor of ophthalmology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, also spoke with MD Magazine® about hyperspectral autofluorescence imaging and collaboration between ophthalmologists and other physicians to identify patients at a higher risk for age-related macular degeneration.

Interview transcript: (modified slightly for readability)

MD Magazine®: What have you observed in your research with hyperspectral autofluorescence imaging?

Smith: What we learned was that with proper analysis of the spectra that we observed in tissues we can get a very clear breakdown of the individual components of the tissue that are causing these signals that light up in these different colors. What we then learned was that if we’re successful in isolating, as we did with the early signals of age-related macular degeneration, then from that information we can build a camera which could then be used in the clinic to use these same principles to look for the early signs of AMD.

MD Magazine®: What do you think the biggest takeaway is?

Smith: I think the biggest takeaway is that the scourge of AMD really needs to be met at its earliest stages. Most of the treatments that are being discussed and are actually given worldwide and throughout our country are for the late stages where there is already advanced disease, there are leaking, bleeding, blood vessels, and a lot of damage is already being done. We need to be able to detect this disease earlier and intervene earlier, so that would be our main goal.

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