July 05, 2016

"Google’s DeepMind division has announced a partnership with the NHS’s Moorfields Eye Hospital to apply machine learning to spot common eye diseases earlier."

ars technica: The five-year research project will draw on one million anonymous eye scans which are held on Moorfields’ patient database, with the aim to speed up the complex and time-consuming process of analysing eye scans. by Glyn Moody

'The hope is that this will allow diagnoses of common causes of sight loss, like diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, to be spotted more rapidly and hence be treated more effectively. For example, Google says that up to 98 percent of sight loss resulting from diabetes can be prevented by early detection and treatment.

'Two million people are already living with sight loss in the UK, of whom around 360,000 are registered as blind or partially-sighted. Google quotes estimates that the number of people suffering from sight loss in the UK will double by 2050. Improvements in detection and treatment would therefore have a major impact on the quality of life for large numbers of people in the UK and around the world.

'The new project will be working with two kinds of eye scans: traditional fundus images, which are essentially photographs of the retina at the back of the eye, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans, which are a cross-section of the retina, giving eye health professionals a more detailed picture of any damage.'

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