UBM has two features, one is basic and the other is quite unique.
First, UBM is simply an imaging modality (like a photograph, CT, MRI, IVFA, or OCT). Imaging modalities offer a useful way to follow ophthalmic diseases. This is borne out in our clinical practice of ophthalmology.
The second key feature of UBM is far more interesting, but is speculative. This aspect is the basis for our project. We believe that extracting quantitative information from UBM will revolutionize our ability to treat disease more objectively, with better evidence-based strategies, and therefore better outcomes. We have observed that quantitative structural measurements have changed how we monitor disease and further ability to explore novel measurements may result in evolution toward better clinical practice. In today's world, we rely heavily on axial length to follow congenital glaucoma. We insist upon knowledge of central corneal thickness in our primary glaucoma patients. We estimate the peripheral anterior chamber depth in order to assess for narrow angle glaucoma. These are three fundamental anterior segment structures that strongly influence our clinical practice. So we asked the question, "What if we could see and measure ALL of the structures in the anterior portion of the eye? Might we find some other important measurements that change how we manage ophthalmic disease?" And thus, our project was born.
An important feature of UBM is the ability to see anatomy posterior to the iris, in particular the lens and ciliary body. We can also see well through a cloudy or even opaque cornea. This is advantageous for any disease affecting the ciliary body (such as a tumor) or lens (such as a cataract). In cases of anomalies or trauma, knowledge of atypical anatomy may aid surgical planning.
Future information we could achieve using UBM may prove clinically advantageous. This is the reason for research but requires a little faith, some imagination, and lots of teamwork.