The original brochure for the Kowa Genesis D fundus camera was a shoddy two pages– one of which was just a (bad) photo of the instrument. In fact, all marketing materials presented by Kowa made the Genesis-D appear like nothing much at all besides a mediocre effort at handheld retinal imaging. It’s so strange that something as difficult as compacting retinal imaging capabilities into something handheld would then be introduced with something so basic and brief. The Kowa Genesis is not a technological marvel– it’s 2.7″ LCD screen and scrolling focus knob and small 2 megapixel CCD sensor and 30 degree field of view make it seem far inferior when in comparison to the newer fundus imaging systems. It is in fact just like its brochure: basic and brief (especially on features), and if it weren’t for the included VK-2 software, transferring images to any computer would be a struggle. Thankfully however, Kowa’s VK-2 software comes standard- tucked neatly in its custom carrying case (which is quite large by the way), and can travel via laptop with your Genesis D and serial cables for connection, no matter where you go. Aligning the Kowa Genesis does come with a small learning curve, and getting the focus just right takes patient compliance- however it is achievable and its compact footprint allows maneuverability even with horizontal patients and the young restless ones. The Genesis’ base cradle is also quite compact and allows the flash intensity manipulation you’d expect. The optics within the eyepiece are actually far clearer than you’d expect, probably because the entire camera module weight upwards of 2.3 pounds– and that’s not even considering the cradle or foot pedal you have to keep with it. Despite the weight and all of its accessories, the Genesis does seem less intimidating, both to the operator and to the patient in-comparison to other handhelds we’ve tested. The observation light is a soft-white LED bulb instead of infrared which makes capturing a little less of a guessing game, and given that the Genesis-D is taller rather than longer, patients do not feel as if a microscopic tube is going to suck their eye out.
OUR TAKE: Achievable alignment and telemedicine capabilities are overshadowed by basic features (mydriatic) and a 30° view, captured from a 2 megapixel CCD.
Because the Kowa Genesis-D is a mydriatic camera, we do recommend that the dilated pupil have a diameter no smaller than 8.00 mm.
The Kowa Genesis-D relies solely on operator input and alignment for acquisition of a retinal image. There are no automated functions that aid in focus, alignment, or capture.
Although the Genesis-D does come with Kowa’s VK-2 Image Software as standard, images can be stored semi-locally via a CompactFlash card which is inserted within the handheld camera. This CompactFlash card is included with the purchase of the Genesis-D.
The Kowa Genesis-D does require a corded connection to its base cradle, to receive inputs such a flash intensity which is adjusted on the base itself.
The Kowa Genesis-D does not mount onto any known slit lamp, and operated solely as a handheld instrument.