Equipping a smartphone to capture retinal images and using artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret those may help overcome barriers to ophthalmic screening for people with diabetes, says a study.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a condition that can lead to permanent vision loss if not detected early.
At the 2019 annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, researchers from Kellogg Eye Center revealed that combining a smartphone-mounted device that takes high-quality retinal pictures with AI software might offer a solution for better screening of diabetic retinopathy.
"The key to preventing DR-related vision loss is early detection through regular screening," said Yannis Paulus, lead researcher and Assistant Professor from University of Michigan.
According to Paulus, also a vitreoretinal surgeon at Kellogg Eye Center, "the key is to bring portable, easy-to-administer, reliable retinal screening to primary care doctors' offices and health clinics".
Paulus was part of a Kellogg team that developed a device that turns a smartphone into a functioning retinal camera. The team used the latest generation of the smartphone-based platform called Retina Scope.
"This is the first time that AI used on a smartphone-based platform has been shown to be effective compared with the gold standard of clinical evaluation," said Paulus.