Photos are taken by a retinal camera of the patient’s retina are uploaded to IDx-DR and an algorithm analyzes the images to determine whether the patient has the disease , where too much blood sugar damages the blood vessels in the back of the eye.
In one clinical trial that used more than 900 images, IDx-DR correctly detected retinopathy about 87 percent of the time, and could correctly identify those who didn’t have the disease about 90 percent of the time.
The software is unique because it’s autonomous and there’s “not a specialist looking over the shoulder of [this] algorithm,”
IDx-DR founder Michael Abràmoff told Science News. “It makes the clinical decision on its own.” This means that the technology can be used by a nurse or doctor who’s not an eye specialist, making diagnosis more accessible.
The benefit….. over 30 million patients wouldn’t need to wait for an eye specialist to be available to get a diagnosis.