Professor’s smartphone app, OCTaVIA, upgraded

a labeled OCT image

New England College of Optometry (NECO) announces the release of OCTaVIA v2.0, a top 10 rated smartphone app for optometry and ophthalmology.

It is now available for Android devices in addition to the previously available iOS version. OCTaVIA (Optical Coherence Tomography VIsual Atlas) is a collection of OCT images and reference information for multiple ocular diseases and retinal conditions.

The new and upgraded app includes expanded entries and easier search. The app was developed by Dr. Elena Z. Biffi and updated with expanded content and images. For a small fee, users get access to the full content with over 100 different ocular diseases and automatic monthly content and reference links updates. The original app was launched in 2018 for iOS users and has been downloaded close to 10,000 times across the USA, Canada, Australia, South America and Europe.

OCTaVIA, a first-of-its kind reference app, meets a need among optometry/ophthalmology students and practitioners to quickly and easily find OCT reference images to aid in patient diagnosis and care. These images can often reveal retinal disease conditions before the patients become symptomatic.

The OCTaVIA app provides normal OCT reference material and corresponding OCT images with Fundus Photography images for multiple retinal disease conditions. It also includes brief disease-specific descriptions of OCT images, high-yield key considerations, and useful links to other resources to aid in the differential diagnosis. The app’s intuitive search function provides access to a myriad of retinal diseases.

“There was an urgent need in education and clinical practice for a dedicated app that can present a well-annotated collection of OCT images for multiple diseases in a fast, clear, and easy manner,” says Dr. Biffi, OD, MSc, FAAO, Associate Professor of Optometry and attending optometrist at South Boston Community Health Center Eye Clinic, as she recalls how she and her students spent hours online searching for OCT images. “OCTaVIA is designed to be that app.”

“OCTaVIA is one the best and most complete apps I have found in the ophthalmology and optometry fields. It’s by far my favorite app for reference and consultation of different retinal disorders and conditions,” says Dr. Luz Amaro-Quireza, optometrist and instructor in Optometric Sciences at Columbia University Medical Center’s Ophthalmology Department. “OCTaVIA is truly helpful in the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of many eye disease in a very clear and handy manner during clinic. The quality of the images, the detailed explanations are superb. It is an amazing clinical tool for teaching and great reference atlas for optometry and ophthalmology residents and clinicians.”

Dr. Biffi is also looking into novel approaches to apply OCT technology in vascular and neurocognitive medicine. “The retina contains neurons and small vessels closely resembling the cerebral vasculature in its structure and function,” she says. These structures can be quickly and noninvasively evaluated using ocular imaging techniques. “Finding retinal biomarkers and being able to predict clinical progression of vascular and cognitive disorders can lay the foundation for a potentially revolutionary approach in clinical vision and neuroscience.”

About Elena Biffi, OD, MSc, FAAO. Dr. Biffi is a clinician-investigator in the field of optometry, with unique expertise and focus in ocular diseases and advanced ophthalmic procedures. She completed clinical training in optometry and residency training in ocular diseases, which represent a key focus of her clinical practice. She specifically developed practical expertise in applying non-invasive retinal imaging (especially OCT) to the diagnosis and staging of a variety of ocular conditions. Her expertise is reflected by frequent invited lectures on the topic about the use of technology to advance diagnosis and management of ocular diseases for other eye professionals at the local, regional and national level.