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Introduction

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 practice.

Can I connect the BioVID to my "XYZ" biomicroscope?

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 of.

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 fine.

What output devices can I connect the BioVID to?


The BioVID can be connected to a variety of output devices including:
1)    TVs
2)    VCRs
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 card?


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 resolution?


Yes… 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.

Conclusion


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 workshops.

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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