Digital Colposcope vs. Optical Colposcope

Say hello to a new patient-centered colposcopy exam – and goodbye to neck pain and eye strain.

Digital innovation is driving the future of many industries, and women ‘s health is no exception. Advanced technology has made the sector’s latest products deliver better clinical results – while being more cost-effective – than ever before.

For the last decade, many gynecology, urogynecology, oncology, and residency programs across the country have switched to high-definition digital tools and equipment that improve health outcomes and exam experiences for their residents and patients. This digital evolution is also seen in the colposcope. Digital colposcopes alleviate the musculoskeletal and ocular strains and fatigue associated with traditional binocular colposcopes and offer a trauma-informed and improved patient experience.

The following is our comparison of optical and digital colposcopes.

Optical Colposcopes: The Standard, but Not Ideal

Optical colposcopes have been the standard among physicians and examiners for decades, despite the equipment being difficult to maneuver during a lengthy, invasive exam that can cause patient discomfort and stress, as well as trigger anxiety in patients with a history of sexual assault or trauma. The optical colposcope also has limitations with image capture and education.

Examiners using an optical colposcope had to crouch for long periods of time to peer through the dual lenses, resulting in straining of the eyes, back, and other muscles, in addition to fatigue. The tool also necessitated the examiner to be very close to the patient during the entire procedure. Performing the exam in this way can cause heightened anxiety in some patients. The lens requires manual focusing numerous times to maintain clear images, and external lighting often has to be added. An examination with an optical colposcope requires an amount of time considered excessive by both patients and clinicians.

Capturing sharp images using optical colposcopes is challenging at best. Costly camera attachments are required. In addition, valuable exam time is spent manipulating the manual focus and moving the colposcope into different positions. Once the cervix is in focus, documentation consists of a hand-drawn diagram that must be manually uploaded into the patient chart though outdated means such as scanning.

If digital camera equipment is used, the images need to be downloaded, then uploaded onto external drives that must be carefully managed to remain in compliance with HIPAA Privacy Rules.

Top Reasons to Replace Your Optical Colposcope

  • Stationary, or difficult to move from room to room, restricting exam space flexibility
  • Longer, invasive patient exams
  • Inefficient, post-exam image workflow
  • Inability to educate patients while the exam is in progress

Digital Colposcopy: A Major Step Forward in Women’s Health

With 1 in 5 women having experienced sexual assault or sexual violence, the invasive nature of cervical exams can trigger anxiety. It’s common for those undergoing a cervical exam to report anxiety and heightened stress. Fears about the outcome and the invasive nature of the exam can cause patients to report negative exam experiences. Therefore, there’s a demand for a tool that facilitates an improved, more trauma informed experience while also expediting the cervical exam and permitting the healthcare provider to assess the patient.   A tool that can reduce anxiety and physical discomfort for both patient and examiner.

State-of-the-art digital colposcopy represents a major step forward in cervical examinations. Digital colposcopy facilitates a vastly superior method of performing more comfortable cervical exams and securing clear imaging – while also serving as an educational tool with a trauma-informed approach.

In performing a cervical examination, accuracy is paramount: Sharper imaging leads to more accurate diagnoses, and to more precise follow-up care if needed. At Lutech, we ‘re proud to partner with some of the finest camera and lens manufacturers in the world. Utilizing the highest quality medical-grade Sony high-definition camera in our LT-300 HD offers pristine imagery at high optical magnification, while offering true glare reduction that is not digitally recreated.

Every clinical setting is different. Some are expansive with ample room, while others are small with limited space for equipment. As a result, flexibility in exam room scheduling is an important requirement for healthcare facilities. Modern digital colposcopes are more compact and portable than optical colposcopes and can be easily transported from one exam room to another and stored with ease. This means multiple rooms can serve as exam rooms while also freeing up space when the exams aren’t being performed.

Smooth, Digital Workflow
Digital colposcopes allow for the seamless integration with a patient’s electronic medical record (EMR). Images are directly uploaded to patient files so the data is immediately available for future reference. With EMR integration, a patient ‘s Gynecologist and Oncologist can consult and review images simultaneously, leading to better and faster care and decision-making. With technology like OnBase and Respond Clinical, automated uploading streamlines workflows so physicians and support staff can devote more time to patient treatment – and less time to the process of securing and storing images.

Faster Exam Times
Digital colposcopes save an extraordinary amount of time over older technologies – from setup and the actual cervical exam to uploading images – sometimes up to 50%. This is a welcome step forward for clinicians as well as patients, who experience a reduced amount of time in a vulnerable position for clinicians to obtain clear cervical diagnosis. A once-lengthy process now takes mere minutes, thanks to the state-of-the-art auto focus in digital colposcopes created by Lutech.

Innovative Features of Lutech Digital Colposcopes

The Lutech LT-300 Series digital colposcopes offer ergonomic features and are designed to be easy to learn and use, with results including maximized image quality, an enhanced examination process, a more streamlined workflow, and the reduction of time spent during an exam, so the patient has a more trauma-informed experience.

These features include:

  • State-of-the-art high-definition cameras for crystal-clear imaging and precise auto and manual focusing
  • Two rows of LED lights to capture true tissue color for more accurate diagnoses
  • A progressive green filter, which enhances visualization of blood vessels
  • 0-30 optical magnification – with additional 120 digital magnification level to ensure crystal-clear imaging with every exam
  • An autofocus feature for quick exams without the need to spend time focusing and refocusing and moving the colposcope to obtain accurate imagery
  • Simple image-capture software that saves images and videos to a secure location using the foot pedal, freeing up the examiner’s hands; uploading is effortless and access for future reference is assured
  • The ability to save images in the JPEG format and upload to the patient chart with automation software; for smaller practices, manual upload is a smooth, one-step process
  • Ergonomic design so examiners can remain in a comfortable position while operating the device, without having to crouch or bend to peer into lenses in a close proximity to the patient; examiners can keep a greater distance between themselves and patients
  • Two stand options to accommodate various sizes and needs of exam rooms
  • A 360° bracket for easy placement, so examiners can easily maneuver the Lutech colposcope in the precise position desired

Get a Free Trial of the Lutech Colposcope

Consider a free 30-day trial of our LT-300 series of digital video colposcopes. We will provide a virtual training session and work with you every step of the way to ensure that your clinic, practice, or hospital is diagnosing patients with the most sophisticated colposcopes available today. Contact Lutech today for additional information and a complimentary consultation, or call (631) 676-7432