May 10, 2018

Seeing is believing: How AI could prevent blindness for 415 million people (right now)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, robotics/AI

When you take a picture of a cat and Google’s algorithms place it in a folder called “pets,” with no direction from you, you’re seeing the benefit of image recognition AI. The exact same technology is used by doctors to diagnose diseases on a scale never before possible by humans.

Diabetic retinopathy, caused by type two diabetes, is the fastest-growing cause of preventable blindness. Each of the more than 415 million people living with the disease risks losing their eyesight unless they have regular access to doctors.

In countries like India there are simply too many patients for doctors to treat. There are 4,000 diabetic patients for every ophthalmologist in India, where the US has one for every 1,500 patients.

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