The Future of Retinal Imaging

Daniel Q. Li; Netan Choudhry


Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2020;31(3):199-206. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Purpose of review: This article reviews emerging technologies in retinal imaging, including their scientific background, clinical implications and future directions.

Recent findings: Fluorescence lifetime imaging ophthalmoscopy is a technology that will reveal biochemical and metabolic changes of the retina at the cellular level. Optical coherence tomography is evolving exponentially toward higher resolution, faster speed, increased portability and more cost effective. Adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy fluorescein angiography will provide unprecedented detail of the retinal vasculature down to the level of capillaries, enabling earlier and more sensitive detection of retinal vascular diseases.

Summary: Continued developments in retinal imaging focus on improved resolution, faster speed and noninvasiveness, while providing new information on the structure–function relationship of the retina inclusive of metabolic activity at the cellular level.


Retinal imaging has seen tremendous advancements in recent years, which dramatically improved our understanding, diagnosis and management of diseases. Newer developments in retinal imaging focus on improved resolution, faster speed, noninvasiveness and assessing beyond the structure and anatomy to the functional and metabolic status of the retina. Some imaging concepts still remain in the research and development stages, whereas others are beginning to be used commercially in clinical practice. In this article, we discuss three emerging imaging modalities and their applications: fluorescence lifetime imaging ophthalmoscopy (FLIO), new developments in optical coherence tomography (OCT) and adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy fluorescein angiography (AO SLO-FA).