An artificial intelligence (AI) system that can recommend the correct referral decision for over 50 eye diseases as accurately as world-leading experts has been developed by researchers at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust*, DeepMind Health and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.
The breakthrough research, published by Nature Medicine, describes how machine learning technology has been successfully trained on thousands of historic de-personalised eye scans to identify features of eye disease and recommend how patients should be referred for care.
It is hoped that the technology could one day transform the way professionals carry out eye tests, allowing them to spot conditions earlier and prioritise patients with the most serious eye diseases before irreversible damage sets in.
Pearse Keane, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Private and NIHR clinician scientist at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology said:
“The AI technology we’re developing is designed to prioritise patients who need to be seen and treated urgently by a doctor or eye care professional. If we can diagnose and treat eye conditions early, it gives us the best chance of saving people’s sight. With further research it could lead to greater consistency and quality of care for patients with eye problems in the future.”