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Linking to Instruments

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Q: Is there a way in hook up an FDT visual field to the software so we do not have scan it?

A: No, not currently.

Q: I have a Topcon 8000 AR/AK not a 8800 will it will work?

A: The Topcon 8800 should work fine.

Q: How does eyeCOMM software work?

A: The eyeCOMM software is installed with ezChartWriter. It is currently a testing version, hence we don't guarantee that it will work with any instrument. I have had it successfully used eyeCOMM with Reichert and Topcon instruments. To use the software, open eyeCOMM.exe and set the matching baud rates for the instrument you wish to use. Typically, this requires some trial and error using the Setup feature of the Topcon.

Q: I've been looking at your software package and really like it .  I have a retinal camera that can save digital images, can they be imported or somehow attached to the patient records?

A: Yes, you can "attach" the image to the patient's chart. You do this by: (1) In the Pulled Charts screen, right- click a patient (or click Chart Options once a patient name is highlighted) and select "Attach Document". This option can also be reached with the "Attachment" button at the bottom of the Encounters list. (2) Click "Add File" at the bottom left. (3) Select subject as "Photos" and contents as "Image". Click the Find button and select the file location (note that a COPY, not the original, of the file will be moved to your server's hard-drive upon completion). Also, if your imaging software only stores your images in a database or uses numeric codes for patient image files, you have to export and/or figure out which photo goes with which patient name. To export, choose jpg as the image type (results in smaller files). (4) Enter the description and click okay. Note that the current version doesn't tell you that you have an attachment for a given patient chart. But you can see it at any time by clicking the "Attachments" button. You can actually attach ANY type of outside document this way.

Q: Will it adapt to the Humphrey auto lensometer, Humphrey auto-refractor, Topcon auto NCT, and what do I need to achieve that?

A: You have to use the eyeCOMM utility (found in ezUtilities folder), which can currently only read in Topcon and Reichert AR/AK readings (but your tech can enter the lensometry/NCT data manually on the pretest computer).

Q: Do most of your doctors input in the pretest info themselves or is it inputted by the receptionist?

A: It varies, but most have a "pretest" computer that sits near the instrumentation. The tech doing the pretest will enter the data into the eyeCOMM utility (found in ezHealthWare\ezUtilities), which will save the data in a folder you specify (usually on the same computer as the main patient database). You can then "import" the data into the chart with the Automated Instruments tool (using "Instrument Link" button).

Q: Is it compatible with linking up to instruments?

A: This area is a bit weak in the software; hopefully we will have improvements with more instruments in the upcoming year. Right now you can test out the eyeCOMM module, but it is unsupported (i.e. if it works great, if not you'll have to wait for enhancements).

Q: I am trying to link the ezChartWriter to the Topcon AutoRefractor. How do you do it? Is there a special program i need?

A: You must use the eyeCOMM software in ezUtilities folder.

Q: How do I connect the autorefractor, lensometer, tonometer to import the data. I also want to get a retinal camera (which started this whole process!).

A: The software is very limited on instrument support right now. If you have a Reichert AR/AK, that works fine. Some Topcon models do, but only if they have serial ports (not USB). You can attach retinal images by using the Attachment Manager.

Q: How do I get autorefractor and NCT information integrated into the ezChartWriter writer? I could not find the instructions in the manual.

A: The instrument interface is somewhat limited. It currently works only with Topcon and Reichert AutoRef/AutoK instruments. The NCT results are manually entered once the AR/AK results have downloaded. To test it out, open the "C:\Program Files\ezHealthWare\ezUtilities\EyeCOMM" folder and double-click the "eyeCOMM.exe" utility (this should be done on the Pre-Test computer). It will ask you to setup the instrument. See the attached documents for details.

Q: Could you please send me instructions on how to connect a computer to the autorefractor. I have a Topcon 8800 and I connected the AutoRefractor to the computer and cannot seem to capture data.

A: Use the attached guide to setup communication. The interface is very basic and only supports certain instruments (the Topcon should work however).

Q: Can you hook up prescreen equipment to the program - I thought I saw an import area in the automated equipment - how would you do this?

A: The software supports a limited set of AutoRef/Keratometers currently. The pretest program (called eyeCOMM) will also allow the entry of lensometry and NCT data manually by you Tech. This presupposes that the pretest equipment is attached to a different computer in a different room. If you're hooked into your exam room computer, then you can use eyeCOMM to pass just the AR/AK and then you would enter the NCT/Lenso data directly into ezChartWriter. A serial port is required (some newer laptops don't come with one!).

Q: Current instruments that work with eyeCOMM:

A: Topcon 8000, Reichert 550/555.  Other instruments Under investigation: Topcon 8800, Canon, Zeiss Humphrey Acuitus. See the eyeCOMM user guide for details. (


A: The software currently only interfaces with the Topcon 8000 AR/AK and Rechiert AR/AK 550 instruments. New instruments may be added in the future.

Q: Is it possible to have an IT person create interfaces ?

A: Since instrument interfaces are not standardized, it would be difficult. The eyeCOMM instrument module is an unsupported feature of the software; it may be enhanced and released commercially in the future, but for now it's just for testing purposes (e.g. it only works on the limited number of instruments).

Q: I am attempting to setup ezChartWriter in my office and I am having difficulty getting my autorefractor and the program to work together. I have a Reichert AR/AK 600. I haven't been able to find any information in the help section to help me get this setup. I would appreciate any help that you can give me.

A: See the eyeCOMM instruction file

Q: After much trial and error, I finally got the correct numbers to cross between the Topcon KR 8800. But then I can't seem get the numbers to go into the  patient's chart in ezChartWriter.

A: Using the "Automated Instrument Tool", click the "Instrument Link" button at the bottom, then select the "Options" menu, then Settings. Choose the Topcon instrument and select the path to the location where the instrument files are located (this would usually be the pre-test computer where eyeCOMM resides; the location for both ezChartWriter and eyeCOMM should match).

Q: I am having problems interfacing autorefractor/keratometer data with ezChartWriter. You sent me the directions and I have matched all the port settings. Keep getting "no data port connection " Topcon seems clueless. Could you send me more information on the data port settings? The instructions that you e-mailed me did not make a whole lot of sense. My computer tech said I needed a different cable for the com port since ezChartWriter is not set up for a usb port so I bought the $150 cable hooked it up and nothing happens!!! Any help would be appreciated

A: You should only need a serial cable (about $10 or so). You have to adjust the Topcon settings to match eyeCOMM software. Also the Topcon has multiple profile settings; you'll have to experiment to find one that allows the data to cross over. buy at Radio Shack

Q: Also, I am wanting to link up my Autorefractor, Nct, and Autolensometer up to the software. Is there something you can email me that can help me do this. My Autorefractor is the topcon CL-100, my autorefractor is the Topcon KR-8800, and my NCT is the topcon CT-80. I also have an Oculus Easyfield that I would like to link up as well if possible.

A: I've attached the eyeCOMM manual. Realize that many instruments are not currently supported (the interface is still a work in progress).

Q: I am trying to link the ezChartWriter to the topcon autorefractor. How do you do it. Is there a special program i need?

A: You need to use the eyeCOMM program (found in the Program Files\ezHealthWare\ezUtilities folder. See the attached file for setup instructions. The Topcon will likely need to have it's settings adjusted also. Also realize that there are limited instruments that the software currently supports.

Q: I followed the instructions but no success. I have the Topcon KP 8800 AR/AK and it has a data output slot with a usb cable. Do you know what cables are necessary for the uplink on that instrument since it is on your list. And how exactly to link it up.

A: You must have a newer model Topcon 8800? Usually there is either a 9-pin or 25-pin serial connector. Look for rectangular shaped connector with either 9 or 25 pins (or holes). The eyeCOMM software will not work with a USB connector.

Q: I am currently setting up newly purchased ezChartWriter and can't seem to interface the Topcon KR8800 to it properly...I have the cables...I've played with Eyecomm...just can't seem to get it down. Can you please email me with specific directions to get accomplished? Thank you very much! I am hooking up Topcon cable with Radioshack USB...driver is installed.

A: You will have to use a real serial cable, not the USB cable. On the Topcon, there are some settings that you will need to update to get the interface to match (both eyeCOMM and Topcon instrument must have same baud rate, parity and error checking settings). From there you should send some test files across. What you are looking for are actual English characters, even if the numbers all run together. Once you get this far, try opening the file with ezChartWriter. If you get an error about "Unable to Parse Data" then send me a copy of the data that appeared onscreen (using ctrl -c to copy to NotePad).

Q: Can you please email me a list of equipment ie autorefractors, autolens meters, visual fields, and imaging equipment that can be used and interface with ezChartWriter? Also at my expense is it possible to create interfaces with other equipment (i.e. Humphrey matrix, RTA-5, Topcon EZ-200 lensometer and Righton medical phoropter.

A: As far as instruments, the software currently is very limited. Only the Reichert AR and some models of Topcon are linking properly. The main problem is that most manufacturers are creating their own proprietary interfaces. If you can find out from the manufacturers whether there instruments will pass data via a serial cable into ASCII formatted text, it may be possible to create an interface. We are actively working on adding support for more instruments.

Q: Do you know if anyone has integrated the Marco TRS 2100 system with your software?

A: It has not been done as of yet.

Q: Which instruments can be integrated with this software?

A: We don't officially support any instruments, although with minor trial and error both the Reichert AR550 and Topcon 8000 have worked with the software.

Q: What kind of cable do I need to connect my Topcon to the software?

A: Use standard serial cable (usually 9-pin), not USB cable or computer-to-computer transfer cable.

Q: I also have a question about the data exchange. I have not been using this feature and am wondering if it will work with the following instruments: Topcon CL-100 lensometer Topcon CT-80 tonometer Topcon KR-8800 autorefractor/autokeratometer Oculus Easyfield If so, where would I find instructions on setting up the data connection?

A: See the eyeCOMM instructions, although most of those instruments are not currently supported.

Q: Can your program import images from my digital retinal camera (cannon) and my digital slit lamp (Topcon) into the pt's EMR. If so what is your price for the entire (all programs available) package. We will have 5 workstations.

A: We do not have direct linkage for retinal imaging... however you can work around this by "attaching" a retinal image with the document manager or use a screen capture program (such as SnagIt) that will allow direct pasting into an drawing.