New AI retinal test can diagnose illnesses in under 1 minute

By Leila Hawkins
The retinal screening system could help with early prevention of serious diseases...

A health tech startup based in New York has developed an AI-based screening system that scans the retina for signs of illness. It then produces the results in less than 60 seconds.  

Developed by AEYE Health, this innovative test can detect retinal conditions including glaucoma, retinal detachment and macular degeneration. However in addition to eye problems, it can also spot early signs of heart disease and dementia. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that at least 1 billion people worldwide have a vision impairment that could have been prevented, or is yet to be addressed. According to AEYE, 75 per cent of people in America in this risk group are not screened for retinal conditions. This is due to the high costs involved and lack of access. 

AEYE are hoping this new diagnostic system will democratise the testing process and help people most at risk of vision loss. Its creators also aim to help with early detection of serious illnesses. 

The AI diagnostic system works on any fundus camera - a low power microscope that's attached to a camera. This enables the tests to take place in any setting outside the ophthalmologist’s office, such as doctor's surgeries and pharmacies. 

The images taken by the camera are analysed using advanced image processing and machine learning. This produces a report in under a minute with a diagnosis. The results are stored on the cloud, powered by AWS. Additionally the system is compatible with most EHRs. 

Another benefit posed by the AI system is that it is ideal for social distancing. It doesn't require a specialist optician to operate or make the diagnosis, reducing the need to see additional doctors. 

AEYE Health was founded in 2018 by Zack Dvey-Aharon, Ph.D., an artificial intelligence and machine learning expert, and by COO Danny Margalit, former founding partner of software company Aladdin Knowledge Systems. 

Speaking of the benefits of this new retinal screening system, Zack said: “Early detection is key to saving patients’ vision. We at AEYE Health have created a unique, AI-based system that can operate on any fundus camera to ensure patients who need an eye check can receive it without having to wait until their next visit to the ophthalmologist’s office.

“We are currently on track to receive our FDA approval by the end of the year. We already have several exciting projects in the pipeline, ready for launch as soon as we get the clearance. We are delighted to spearhead global efforts to develop an accurate, affordable and useable solution to detect retinal conditions, prevent blindness and save lives.”


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