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The BioVID is a small, lightweight, video camera that can be easily attached to any
slit-lamp, retinal camera, lensometer, radiuscope, keratometer, or other ophthalmic
device. The head simply attaches to the ocular of any of these instruments and is held in
place with an adapter sleeve. The head only weighs a few ounces and is attached to your
output device by a ten-foot cable.
Questions and Answers:
Many doctors have inquired about BioVID via the Internet and by phone. What follows
is a series of the most commonly asked questions. By reading the questions and their
associated answers, you'll learn a lot about the BioVID and how it can be used in your
Can I connect the BioVID to my "XYZ"
BioVID was originally designed be used with lab microscopes, particularly for
teaching purposes. It initially came equipped with a gooseneck stand, but was modified for
ophthalmic use. The camera comes with two high-quality aluminum adapter sleeves. One is
narrow, and will fit small-aperture biomicroscopes (Haag-Streits, etc.) as well as
lensometers and radiuscopes. The second adapter is larger and fits most everything else,
including most retinal cameras and large aperture biomicroscopes. Using these two
adapters, the BioVID can be attached to just about any ophthalmic instrument you can think
Do I need a beam splitter and C-Mount?
No, the BioVID doesn't need these expensive devices. Using the adapter sleeves
directly over your eyepiece, the BioVID can save you $2,000-$3,500 (the typical cost of
beam splitters and C-mounts).
Can the BioVID be connected to a beam splitter and C-mount?
Yes, the camera can be attached to industry-standard C-mounts. So, if you've got a
biomicroscope with a C-mount already installed, the BioVID can be used.
Can I use the BioVID with an observation tube already attached
to my biomicroscope?
Yes, you can attach the BioVID to the tube itself. You can remove the tube and attach the
BioVID to the C-mount, or you can attach the BioVID to your normal ocular.
Can I use my biomicroscope normally with the BioVID attached?
The BioVID obstructs one of your oculars, unless you're using the BioVID attached to a
C-mount or observation tube. While you can continue to look directly through the remaining
ocular, most doctors switch their view to an external TV or monitor while the BioVID is
on. While this may feel awkward at first, it rapidly becomes second nature..
Is the attachment permanent?
No, the BioVID can be attached and removed from your biomicroscope in just seconds. It is
very easy to use and doesn't slow down your normal exam much at all. If you anticipate
doing a very large number of video exams per day, you might want to consider the purchase
of a beam splitter and C-mount. If you know you'll be performing a low or moderate number
of video exams, the inexpensive sleeve adapters that come with the BioVID do the job just
What output devices can I connect the BioVID to?
The BioVID can be connected to a variety of output devices including:
3) Image capture boards
4) Snappy or other parallel port capture device
5) LCD overheads or projectors
6) Video printers
7) Color PC printers (via capture board and PC)
8) Video conferencing hardware and software
Can I connect the camera to a TV and PC at the same time?
Yes, in fact, by simply chaining devices together, or using a readily available video
switch box (Radio Shack) you can have a video system using multiple devices. Many doctors
output the BioVID to TV/VCR combo units and then run an RCA video cable from the TV/VCR
output jack to their computer's capture card.
Can I make hard copy prints of the images the BioVID produces?
Yes, in either of two ways. The easiest is to connect a video printer to the BioVID. You
can do this directly, or indirectly by connecting the printer to a TV or VCR output jack.
If you have a PC with a capture card, you can print stored images to any PC printer. Some
of the newer ink jets - such as the HP DeskJet 820Cse - do an admirable job. The FujiFilm
NC-2 is a dye sublimation printer than can print from either computer output or video.
Can I use the BioVID with my retinal camera?
Yes, as long as your camera has a traditional eyepiece. Some non-mydriatic retinal cameras
have small monitors instead of oculars. The BioVID cannot be attached to these units.
Can I use the BioVID with 90D, 78D, and other biomicroscopy lenses?
Absolutely! It is a learned skill, however, as most doctors view their monitor or TV while
performing these procedures. Some will look monocularly through the non-obstructed ocular.
Gonioscopy is also possible using the BioVID.
Do I need a computer to use the BioVID?
No, most doctors are using the BioVID for patient education purposes. They simply run the
BioVID's video to a TV/VCR combo and then tape their video exams. It's then very easy to
play back the exam while showing the patient highlights of the procedure. A computer is
only needed if you want to digitally capture the images for archival purposes..
Must I have a TV and VCR if I've got a computer with image capture
No. Most doctors do, however, because of the usefulness and low cost of a TV and VCR for
patient education purposes. You can certainly do without these, however, if you want to
save space. If this is the route you want to go, make sure your capture card supports
"live overlay" so you have a quality image to view while performing your exam..
Does the BioVID come with a capture card?
No, the BioVID is a camera only. We can supply you with capture cards; speak with one of
our representatives for advice on the best card for your system and needs.
Do I need special monitors and high-resolution video recorders?
No, the BioVID operates at 480 lines of resolution, and produces a standard NTSC signal.
You can connect it to any VCR or TV. You will gain a slightly higher level of performance
with an S-video VCR, but it really isn't required for patient education purposes.
Don't most ophthalmic image capture systems operate at a higher
and no. Most turnkey systems being sold to optometrists and ophthalmologists are
built around video cameras producing @420 lines of resolution. Keep in mind that
many turnkey systems connect their cameras to standard VCRs and TVs that scale the
resolution down, eliminating the already small advantage in resolution to nil.
Bear in mind too, that image quality is not determined solely by resolution. A camera's
ability to handle glare, low illumination, as well as color, brightness, and contrast, are
equally important. The BioVID does an outstanding job in all these areas, particularly
color, and low illumination (down to 1 lux) .
There are some turnkey systems on the market that DO have significantly higher resolution
and image quality than the BioVID. These systems are built around 700+ line broadcast
quality video cameras, high resolution monitors, tape decks, and 500+ line video printers.
Outstanding performance, but a very hefty price tag comes with these systems. The BioVID,
at $1149, is not intended to compete with these products, which can easily run from
$10,000 to $20,000, and even higher.
What sets the BioVID apart from other cameras?
No other camera on the market offers as much performance for the dollar as the BioVID.
This FAQ has already mentioned the quality performance of the camera, its versatility, and
the fact that it doesn't need a beam splitter or C-mount.
One other performance feature that has not been mentioned is the BioVID's built-in lens.
This lens is capable of focusing from infinity down to less than one inch from the eye.
This large range of focus opens up another whole dimension in video documentation that no
other ophthalmic camera offers. By using the BioVID alone - i.e. NOT attached to a
biomicroscope - you can video full-facial shots for Zoster, strabismus, ptosis, and
trauma. With the lens focused down to under 1" it's easy to video conjunctival
disorders, punctal plugs, iris nevi, ptosis, and a host of other non-microscopic
conditions. This type of use is impossible with slit-lamp "bound" systems such
as the turnkey video systems on the market.
The BioVID is a versatile instrument at a very reasonable price. It can function as the
main component in a self-assembled video/capture system, or as a great adjunct to
previously purchased systems. Doctors who've seen it have been very excited about the
BioVID. A BioVID was used in a punctal plug workshop that Eric Schmidt, OD taught. The
BioVID was used to visualize plug insertion without a biomicroscope; just a BioVID, normal
room light, and a 27' TV. The result was so good, Dr. Schmidt is now taking a BioVID with
him around the country and using it instead of a video slit-lamp to teach all his
Don't hesitate to call us at 1-888-522-7226 or email us at BioVID@LabEssentials.com
for more information!
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