Back in 2001 when Carl Zeiss released the Acuitus 5015, it was one of the first ARKs to offer a color LCD screen mounted on what they called a “new modern design.” It utilized a plug-and-play BIOS extension which was an attempt to be more of a “personalized computer” combined with a modern ophthalmic device and perhaps best of all it wore the hallmark Zeiss badge. But now nearly seventeen years later we just have a hard time understanding why and what the Acuitus is what it is. And perhaps Zeiss wonders this same thing as they practically act as if they never made the instrument; a search on their website produces ‘0 results‘ and their support techs act absolutely dumbfounded on the phone when you call. Possibly it’s because the Acuitus hasn’t aged well compared to other ARKs from that time. Comparable units such as the HARK 599 do indeed appear old in 2018, however their unique features and straight-forwardness still have a place in some modern practices. The 5015 lacks automated tracking features and motorized optical head which finds the desired focal point on the cornea. It’s screen holder is a long arm the reaches from the very bottom of the unit– something that looks bizarre and seems terribly unnecessary from an engineering standpoint. It’s computerized camera offers fair clarity, and only enlarges once you’re close to the perfect focal length– instead it splits the screen most of the time showing you blank results for measurements you haven’t take yet. Despite these oddities, it wears the Zeiss name and so therefore its accurate, fairly robust, and clinically validated by nearly everyone.
OUR TAKE: An Autorefractor that flaunts 2001 Zeiss aesthetic while lacking the necessities and straight-forwardness of an ARK. It’s incredibly affordable for a Zeiss instrument, and will do the work you ask of it, despite its oddities.
#1. The First In Color
The Acuitus was one of the first units to offer a color LCD screen, as well as the first to have a screen external from the unit itself (or at least partially). The 5015’s trademark is a long arm that holds a small LCD screen in its palm; make us wonder why not just attach it to the front utilizing a brace. Perhaps the technology was not there to do this, however it does put the screen more “in your face” so to say. This does allow you to feel closer to the patient and the alignment of such, despite the screen clearly being an obstacle for seeing the patient from the operator side. The arm is undoubtedly large for a small screen, however the screen is in full-color, and the user interface is neatly thought-out. Unlike most ARs that display the live camera feed in the whole frame of the screen, the Acuitus models show prior refractive data (of that patient’s previous eye) in nearly 3/4 of the screen, it is only when the eye comes in focus that the interface switches to a full display of the cornea. This makes us scratch our head a bit but at the same time allows the operator to see live reading results in the same frame as the live image.
Perhaps the best trait of the Acuitus series is knowing that Zeiss made it. And even though they pretend as if they never did, the instrument is competent in everything from accuracy to robustness. Upon release, Carl Zeiss Meditec advertised the 5015 as one of the only ARKs that could perform a reading less than one day after an IOL procedure. This statement holds up, and its IOL feature, as well as its repeated accuracy is still well versed when competing against modern day ARKs. Upon our own testing, we were able to capture accurate readings on everyone from young children, to the elderly with pupils down to 3.0mm in size. It’s auto-fire captures 30 quick readings and averages them automatically– something even impressive from the next decade.
At the time, the computerized camera was most likely considered exceptional, however by todays standards it is rather fuzzy. And since automated XYZ tracking (you still use the joystick that is) isn’t an option, Zeiss leaves it up to you to find the cornea and focus the image. Software features do help you guide the unit, however the 5015 offers no motorized optical head such as the HARK 599 for OD/OS transfers.
It does have RS-232 connections outputs, however it will depend on your EHR company and whether they’ve offered the gateway for such device.
A 2.5mm pupil diameter.
The Acuitus vertex options are actually quite diverse:
0.0, 10.5, 12.0, 13.5, 15.0, 16.5 mm