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Moorfields Eye Hospita l in London is working with the Google-owned British company DeepMind on a method for computer-supported detection of eye diseases. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), a method for early detection of diseases like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, has already been around for about a decade. Here a three-dimensional image of the retina is created with 65 million data points and then checked by a doctor. OCT has been used thousands of times over the last few years.

DeepMind is now working on artificial intelligence which can evaluate the images itself. The results of an initial research project have been published in “Nature Medicine”. The scientists trained the software with 997 OCT scans and the diagnoses of eight doctors. After that process, it recognized eye diseases correctly in 94.5% of cases and was also able to assess the urgency of treatment. In collaboration with Moorfields Eye Hospital, DeepMind now intends to carry out further clinical trials and attempt to get the product licensed. The plan is to use it in clinics and medical practices, where the software should reduce the time between scan, diagnosis and treatment.