What is the Arclight?

The Arclight is a multi-purpose solar-powered diagnostic tool that combines a direct ophthalmoscope, anterior segment loupe and otoscope (as well as a number of other functions) into a small highly portable device (Figure 1).

It comes in a case with a 3-metre visual acuity chart, clip to attach to a mobile phone camera to capture clinical signs, lanyard, speculae and a USB charging lead

Frugal and simplified engineering makes it compact, portable and easy to use. Using a LED light source, it is recharged via a built-in solar panel or through a USB cable, negating the need to find replacement bulbs and batteries.

The Arclight represents an opportunity for medical students to own an effective eye and ear diagnostic tool to practice with regularly to build competency and confidence to take forwards into their working life.

How do you use the Arclight?

Direct ophthalmoscopy

At one end of the device is a small sight hole, LED and a rack of lenses. This is the direct ophthalmoscope.

Select the light setting you wish by pressing the grey button.

The examiner holds the device close to their eye and looks through the sight hole.

By holding the device at arm’s length the fundal reflex (‘red reflex’) can be seen.

To examine the back of the eye move in more closely

Anterior segment examination

At the other end of the device is an anterior segment loupe:

1. Select the light you require (e.g. varying levels of white light or blue light) using the grey switch and hold it close to your eye.

2. Move in close to the patient’s eye. At around 6cms you will see a magnified view of the eyelids and front of the eye.

3. By toggling through the light settings a blue light will come on which can highlight fluorescein staining of abrasions and ulcers.

Other functions

The Arclight also comes with a number of other tools to assist with clinical assessment.

Additional tools packed with Arclight carrying case:

· 3-metre LogMAR distance chart

· Near visual acuity chart

An Amsler chart for assessing macular disease and a matching card if the patient is young/having difficulty with expressive language.

On the surface of Arclight there are number of useful tools:

· Ruler for measuring the height of lids and size of lesions

· Pupil gauge for measuring the diameter of pupils

· Red desaturation square for optic nerve function assessment

· Colour vision chart

· A white target for visual field assessment

· A colourful picture near the target to assess fixation and eye movements

· Convergence target

· Cup to disc ratio gauge for glaucoma assessment

· Clip to store the device in your top pocket like a pen