The iTrace (Tracey Technologies) is an attractive diagnostic technology that features both topography and aberrometry. The compact device quickly measures the entire optical pathway to produce a dysfunctional lens index (DLI), enabling it to objectively grade lens opacity and separate visual aberrations due to the cornea and those attributed to the lens. The latest software has made interpreting data more intuitive and user-friendly, with touchscreen or tablet displays.
For refractive consultations, when I enter the exam room, the first test I look at is the DLI display for each eye; I then quickly know the cataract grade (or if the lens is still mostly clear and performing well) and also the amount of corneal astigmatism from the axial topography map. Patients can easily understand their cataract “grade,” as the DLI scale shows how much optical distortion is coming from the lens, which I believe impresses them more than a trying to describe their cataract while holding a plastic eye model, for example. With the iTrace, surgeons no longer need to rely only on their subjective lens grading from the slit-lamp exam. After reviewing the iTrace, one can move on to the results of traditional tests, such as glare vision, biometry, and Snellen acuity.
The iTrace’s most valuable features for my practice have been the DLI display, along with the pre- and postop toric lens planning, topography, and aberrometry that aids in astigmatism management and lens implant selection. Also, its wavefront keratometry and post-refractive surgery calculation values are useful to enter into online calculators. Thus, with so many features, I see the iTrace technology becoming a key step in a refractive surgery consultation because it shows lens performance objectively, which resonates with patients.