Digital watches may have been around for over 30 years, but until recently the most accurate method of measuring intraocular pressure (IOP) involved reading the pressure off of a dial. This technique uses an instrument called a Goldmann Applanation Tonometer (GAT). Finally, one of the most trusted names in ophthalmic instrumentation, Haag-Streit International has come out with a digital version of this instrument.
The good news: it appears to be just as accurate as its analog counterpart. A recent article published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology concluded that “the new GAT digital is as reliable and safe as the GAT standard.”
The bad news: (you probably guessed it) – it’s more expensive than the analog version. The question remains: will eye doctors pay extra for the digital display? Will it be as reliable or last as long? After all, with electronic parts, there is a chance they will not last as long as the mechanical parts used in analog tonometers.
For my part, I’ll continue with my current analog tonometers until they stop working (which, due to the high quality of Haag-Streit instruments, probably won’t be for another decade or so).
Looking for an Ophthalmologist in California?
Dr. David Richardson is taking new patients at his office in San Marino, CA., and is always willing to provide a second opinion for those who would like the peace-of-mind that such a consultation would provide.