Combination instrument that perform 3 or more tasks at once are attractive. They save space on the pre-test table, improve efficiency, and typically save in initial investment from buying multiple instruments. And for that reason alone, the KR-8000PA should be an attractive buy for more Optometrists. It offers superior ARK accuracy, basic topography for contact lens fitting, and maintains a compact footprint in the pretest room. It does however require an external computer + software package (from Topcon) which clearly takes the device from one machine, and puts it to another. While the KR-8000PA will perform topography and provide a VERY basic K-Axial Map read-out, it is in black and white, and the scale (of black and white shades) may be difficult to asses. This didn’t give us a lot of confidence when fitting contact lenses with just the unit. The actual display is in black and white itself- utilizing an infrared camera just like that of the basic KR-8000 Autorefractor, however measurements are still easy to take, with auto-align and auto capture. Topcon’s Color Mapping 32 Software is easy-to-use, and produces enlarged color maps, tangential axial maps, sagittal maps, refractive and keratometric data, and peripheral keratometric maps.
OUR TAKE: An effective, affordable way to perform ARK and basic Topography all at once; it feels a bit dated, and Topcon’s Color Mapping 32 software lacks in modern day features.
#1. An ARK Known For Accuracy
Topcon has always maintained a healthy reputation for incredibly accurate Autorefraction systems, and the KR-8000PA is no exception. Despite the 8000PA carrying a large 10-ring placido disk, the unit still utilizes the same infrared Rotary Prism technology found in the standard KR-8000, 8800, 8900, and brand new KR-800. The Rotary Prism Measuring System is proprietary to Topcon, and we believe that with the exception of Hartman-Shack units, Topcon makes one of the most accurate refraction systems. Although the company does a rather poor job explaining what exactly a “Rotary Prism System” is, we found a measuring ring that uses infrared light to create a ‘Rotary Ring Image’ on the back of the eye, which aftera pass through a ‘Rotary Prism’ and a mirror, is then reflected onto a sensor which does some magic through its software. The result: incredible accuracy with pupils as small as 2mm in diameter.
#2. Affordable Topography Included
BuzzOptics offers a lot of affordable topography options, however there are rather few options that also offer Autorefraction and Keratometry in a simple printout. The KR-8000PA does just that. We’ll agree that the 8000PA lacks in impressive placido ring technology when compared to the modern competition, and we’ll also nod off to the complaint that ‘real color topography’ must be used in conjunction with Topcon’s Color Mapping 32 Software… but we’re not aware of another unit that can provide a true K-Axial-Map printout on the same thermal sheet as a patient’s objective refraction and averaged K values. It’s a talent that may have become obsolete thanks to complex topography systems, but if your pretest room is filling up and you don’t have a need to fit custom contact lenses– this may be just right for you. The unique relationship between ARK and Topographer also lends a mapping opaque overlay of the axial map over the original corneal captured image and a automatic corneal irregularity detector in which notifies the operator with a distorted placido ring projection. The unit also auto-calculates a base curvature with a 3-point measurement that displays at the bottom of the thermal printout and corneal diameter measurements come standard.
#3. 32-bit Color Mapping Software
Topcon’s 32-bit color mapping software system enhances clinical evaluations with the output of highly accurate, full color corneal maps. The system offers an enlarged color map, tangential axial maps, sagittal maps, refractive and keratometric data, and peripheral keratometric maps. It provides early phase detection of subclinical keratoconus as well as pre and post-op evaluation. The software also features a new image overlay function, as well as a Multi-Map and Difference Map Views, which display multiple image maps for easy comparison. The color mapping system is only Windows® 95/98/NT compatible- something which won’t matter much given you most likely won’t using the computer for anything but the KR-8000PA review.
It will depend on your EHR and their programmed gateway portals. The 8000PA does have communication (RS-232) capabilities and the Topography data will export to Topcon’s Color Mapping 32 software (included).
In terms of accuracy, the KR-8000PA records comparable refractive data when compared to other ‘new’ Autorefractors.
You bet. The KR-8000PA’s auto-align and auto-capture makes performing an objective refraction, and corneal mapping simple.
It depends on the other devices. The unit does have RS-232 communication abilities. Make sure to contact us or Topcon directly regarding connecting the 8000PA with other devices.