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Google Joins the Fight against Vision Loss

Posted on August 22nd, 2016

Retinal tests and eye scans have advanced tremendously in the last 30 years, but a new research project being jointly performed by Google and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has the potential to completely change the way eye tests are conducted and analyzed.


Building on an earlier partnership that formed to improve the detection of kidney disease, Google’s DeepMind AI unit and the NHS have the ultimate goal of cutting down the number of patients who suffer from common eye conditions. With sight loss predicted to double by the year 2050, DeepMind and the NHS are targeting eye afflictions like age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.


London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital will share one million anonymous eye scans with DeepMind. The historic scans will be sent with corresponding information about eye condition and disease management. The artificial intelligence of DeepMind then takes over, analyzing the data, and researching how technology can improve the highly complex eye scans. At present, reviews of the scans are done by eye health specialists and these assessments take quite a long time. Technology has also not kept up, so the scans cannot be fully explored by current means.


The DeepMind and NHS project will be conducted over a period of five years. Upon completion, the hope is that scans can be analyzed much more quickly, and that vision will be saved as a result – Google estimates that up to 98% of sight loss from diabetes can be prevented by early detection and treatment.


DeepMind specializes in machine learning, where algorithms allow computers to learn independently from raw data. It is hoped that DeepMind will be able to train computers to read eye scans quickly, and detect any defects in the eye, which will then allow for quick diagnosis and treatment, saving eyesight.


Some vision defects can only be detected by a comprehensive eye exam. FYidoctors uses current technology that assists in the early detection of diseases like diabetes, glaucoma and macular degeneration.  Don’t wait until it’s too late to get tested, book an exam at the location nearest you today.